Rock Miller returns with a new studio album, “Altered States”, only a year after “Old Souls”. I assume the phase shifts of the “strange” lizard, on the cover artwork, are kinda related to the album title. It seems that Miller is exploring new dimensions and experimenting with different sounds in this latest release. The new album features guest appearances from Giulia Cacciavillani on flute, Sarah Young on flute, Barry Haggarty on guitar, Mateusz Swoboda on cello, Kane Miller on violin and Will on drums and percussion.
“Altered States” is a crossover prog record with 60s, 70s, and 80s influences. The album predominantly draws inspiration from the 70s era, but also incorporates elements from the other two decades. The music can be described as an amalgam of prog rock, atmospheric, melancholic, ambient, psychedelic & pop-rock music. Rick seems to have been mainly influenced by bands such as Alan Parsons Project, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Barclay James Harvest, Moody Blues, and Aphrodite’s Child, which contributes to his music’s complexity and emotional evocation.
The album’s sound is rich and layered, with enough of room for each instrument to breathe. The mix is clean and polished, with a warm and appealing overall sound. The album’s instrumentation is also noteworthy. Miller’s guitar work stands out in particular, with his virtuosic playing elevating each track. The album also includes a variety of instruments like synths, flute and violin, which give the tracks depth and texture.
Indeed, all nine songs require several listens to fully comprehend their inner message. Nonetheless, I can assure you that regardless of length, each track may be appreciated with comfort and pleasure. The intricate layers of the music reveal themselves with each listen, allowing the listener to fully understand the craftsmanship and intention behind each track. Each song, from the longest to the shortest, has been carefully crafted to produce a cohesive and expressive album.
Thus, give each track your full attention and allow yourself to be carried by the passionate melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. You will not be let down. My personal favorites are: “Altered States”, “New Moon Prelude”, “Wolf Moon”, “Borrowed Time”, “The Trap”, “Old Secrets”, “Half Moon”, and “A Dream Within a Dream”.
All in all, “Altered States” is an amazing album that demonstrates Rick’s ability to craft complex and intricate pieces of music that showcase his artistic vision. The album’s catchy melodies, thoughtful lyrics, and great musicianship make it essential for everyone who appreciates prog rock music in particular. I guess It’s never too late to discover this underrated musician, who creates such wonderful and emotional music.