Rick Miller -
Belief In The Machine

(CD 2020, 49:46, Progressive Promotion Records PPRCD080)

The tracks:
  1- Correct To The Core(11:35)
  2- That Inward Eye (Part 1)(2:22)
  3- Belief In The Machine(2:02)
  4- The Land And The Sea(2:11)
  5- The Need To Believe(5:39)
  6- Prelude To The Trial(4:32)
  7- Binary Breakdown(3:40)
  8- That Inward Eye (Part 2)(3:28)
  9- Media Gods (Including The Awakening)(4:22)
10- The Trial(9:55)

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Sometimes you miss out on some good musicians and albums and in my case I sadly overlooked Rick Miller, as he's already released his 18th album and I really had not heard anything from Miller so far; yes I know, shame on me....Rick Miller is a Canadian composer and multi-instrumentalist and he brought out his debut album way back in 1983! His latest album is titled Belief In The Machine and is a concept album filled with excellent compositions and fantastic instrumentation.

Belief In The Machine features three instrumental tracks, being: That Inward Eye Part 1, Prelude To Trial and Media Gods, and all three feature a lot of flute, cello and electronics; the latter even sounds ambient at times. Miller's 18th album starts fantastically with the epic Correct To The Core, a song filled with lots of guitar layers and diverse tempos and even funky beats. Miller's guitar sound reminds me of the legendary, always still underrated Andrew Latimer (Camel), but I also hear influences from Steven Wilson, Steve Hackett and Dire Straits (Mark Knopfler). Miller's excellent vocals then again remind me of David Gilmour, so there is a lot to enjoy on Belief In The Machine. The Need To Believe is another highlight here as it really contains some lovely melodic guitar solos and the title track also features that excellent guitar work that is so characteristic for Rick Miller. The only song I have some problems with is the last one called The Trial as it is maybe a bit too monotonous and it takes a while (almost 6 minutes) before this song comes to life....

But overall, this is a wonderful diverse, nice, quiet prog rock album and if you like the quiet side of the music of Camel, then this is a must have album for you. Check it out; it really is worth a few spins!!

***+ Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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