Reviewed by: Jeff de los Santos
In December of 2013, progressive band Visual Cliff will be releasing their final two albums – “Out of the Archives” and “Between Two Kingdoms“. Between Two Kingdoms is a final full-length album with the entire band. Out of the Archives is a collection of songs that were never released from 2003 through 2007. Rob Perez (guitarist/founder) and original bass and drum composer, Rick Mals, took the original tracks and filled them out to complete these original archive-tracks.
‘Out of the Archives’, which is all instrumental, is a mixture of slow soulful tunes, upbeat hard-rock with fantastic guitar solos and some phenomenal progressive tracks as well.
“Awake in Time” starts off the album. It opens with the guitar playing all by itself. You can almost see the sun slowly rising in your mind’s eye as Rob masterfully plays in a dream-like sequence. Near the end of the song (about the 4 minute mark) you can feel that the sun is fully up and life all around is awake for another day. “The Falling Away” is a rocking song with crunchy guitars and some blistering runs by Rob. “All is Unfolding” is a solid progressive song with lots of twists and turns, giving the listener a great musical ride. “Rise” is a relaxing, grooving type of song which gives Rob another chance to showcase his brilliance on guitar. It reminds me some of his earlier work but it’s different from similar songs. It’s just that Visual Cliff sound. “Soul of the Way” is just a soulful song, as the title suggests. The sounds are similar to some of Rob’s other works – Bluesyndrome and Sonic Martyr to some degree – and yet it maintains it uniqueness with its own musical twists. “When Everything Else is Gone” is a rocking romp. It reminds me of some Orphan Project songs with it’s driven guitars. “Cathedral Groove” lightens things a bit from the previous song. It’s definitely has the grooves feeling to it with some smooth guitar playing. “For All Its Worth” closes out the album and it’s back to the crunchy guitars and high energy. This is definitely a favorite song for me as the song has three main motifs that play and then come back. It’s beautifully done.
Visual Cliff’s Out of the Archives is a masterful progressive piece from start to finish. Each tune is excellent. What’s surprising is that these were songs that originally didn’t make the cut. But fortunately, they were brought back for the listener to hear.
You can purchase a digital download of ‘Out of the Archives’, now available, through the band’s website, iTunes and other various download-sites. Hard copies will be released along with the band’s final album, Between Two Kingdoms, sometime in December 2013.
Visual Cliff: Cathedral Groove (Out Of The Archives)
Visual Cliff: For All Its Worth (Out Of The Archives)