A Russian records label called MALS has been reissuing Canadian musician Rick Miller’s back catalog. So far Angel Of My Soul (2008) and Dreamtigers (2004) have been released. I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing some of Rick’s catalog (Angel Of My Soul and Falling Through Rainbows). This time around I’ll be reviewing his 2004 release entitled Dreamtigers. On this album, Rick does all of the instruments with help by Kristina Vowles (vocals), Sara Young (flute), Will (drums), Kane Miller (guitars & violins) and Barry Haggarty (guitars).
Opening the album is the dreamy symphonic rocker of “March Of The Demons” (4:11). About two thirds into the song, it features vocals by Rick. They’re almost in the background unlike his recent ones where the vocals were up front.
The title track, “Dreamtigers” (6:24) is another dreamy symphonic sounding song. This time it looks like things are more expanded. This features angelic female vocals by Kristina Vowles. Half way through the song there’s some demonic laughter going on in the background. My guess that it’s Rick.
“Ghost Of A Common Man” (7:27) is the longest track on the album and one of my favorites. It’s a combination of symphonic prog and ambient sounds. This song is mostly instrumental where Rick pays more attention to the instrumentations used to create the music. Again this one features angelic female vocals by Kristina. This is one of my favorites off the album. There’s a slight Pink Floyd meets Phideaux vibe I’m getting from this song.
“Still In It” (4:48) contains some heavy guitar sounds that remind me of the 80’s & 90’s version of Eloy. There’s a minimal amount of vocals on this song provided by Kristina.
Next are three instrumental pieces “Spanish Fly” (2:04), “Return Of The Acolyte” (4:58) and “Gods Of A Distant Land” (2:46) that seem to flow easily from one into another. You can classify these tracks more as a suite than individual songs.
“The Call” (6:58) is primarily a acoustic guitar/ synths song with some electric guitar bits thrown in. All on top is more female vocals. This is another primarily instrumental tacks.
“Sometimes” (3:06) is a bonus track featured on the 2010 re-issue. It starts off with some saxophone. It’s a blues based track which features Rick’s vocals upfront, just like on his later releases. A very pleasant way to end off the album.
This is another reissue released by the MALS record label, who’s responsible for bring some of Rick’s older recordings back into the market, with some rather unique packaging. So far MALS has released two of Rick’s progressive rock albums and it appears there’s two more that (hopefully) be out in early 2011. This another important album of multi-instrumentalist Rick Miller that gets a very strong recommendation, especially if you liked the other three progressive rock based releases as very as modern symphonic based progressive rock.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on December 19th, 2010