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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Aaron Clift Experiment

The Age of Misinformation

Review by Gary Hill

The year is literally just starting. Okay, that's not 100 percent truthful. I'm writing this review in the latter parts of 2022, but the disc will not be released until early 2023, so perhaps it's more accurate to say that this is the first release of '23 that I'm reviewing. The thing is, I will be surprised if this doesn't make my best of '23 list. I always enjoy The Aaron Clift Experiment's brand of hard rocking prog, but I think they have outdone themselves Here. I think this might be their best album to date. I can't recommend this enough.

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Track by Track Review
The Age of Misinformation
This comes in gradually. As some sound-bites come over the top of the track, this gets dark and menacing. There is a Rush-like shift. Then the cut fires out into a new fast jam that has a lot of politicians talking. From there we get into the song proper as the sung vocals join. This has a heavy, metallic vibe, but it's also decidedly prog rock based. I really the more melodic prog groove further down the musical road. The lyrics to this are definitely topical.
This has a lot going on despite a mellower arrangement as it gets underway. We're taken through a number of changes as this continues. This has some hints of fusion. It also has a cool "wall of voices" section later. The track gets a bit heavier at times, and the rocking guitar solo is on fire.
Bet on Zero
This cut is the epic at nearly 11-minutes long. It's also a real powerhouse. There are horns that help to create a jazzy vibe. Yet it's also pure rock, and particularly hard rocking. This cut tracks through a number of twists and turns. It has an extended instrumental section with some amazing music and a lot of varied moods and sections. There is some killer guitar soloing along that particular road, too. There is also a drum solo contained in this piece.
Dark Secrets
There is a great contrast between jazzier, mellower movements and harder rocking ones. This really runs a nice line between prog metal and more traditional (but a modern interpretation of) prog.
This has more of a fusion meets rock approach;. The multi-layered vocal arrangement is powerful. The cut is perhaps less dynamic than some of the others here, but it's also unique and very intriguing. I'm reminded just a little of the band UK. All that said, it fires out into some seriously intense prog rock of the harder edged variety later, and there is some smoking hot guitar work on display.
The Color of Flight
A mellower, acoustic guitar based arrangement on the menu as this gets going. This builds in an organic, but amazing way. It becomes magical, dramatic and powerful. Yet it still remains mellower than other music here. There is a real classical element at play on the number at times.
This has more of an insistent energy. it's melodic prog with plenty of drama built into it. Violin lends some particular charm at times.
Weight of the World

Coming in mellower and decidedly melodic, this works out with style as it continues. This gets decidedly fusion-like at times. It's quite a potent piece of music, despite (or perhaps because of it) its mellower approach. It also serves a great grounding point for the end of the disc.

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