Band: The Aaron Clift Experiment
CD Title: Outer Light, Inner Darkness
Label: Independent Release (2015)
Rating: Great Stuff 4/5
Formed in 2012 this is the second studio offering from the quartet known as The Aaron Clift Experiment and its entitled Outer Light, Inner Darkness. From the CD’s opening track, “Kissed by the Sun” [7:40] there is a distinct Kansas/Protokaw feel about the music on display. The other instantly recognizable influence on the musical sound is Echolyn, especially in the vocals department, where not only does Clift sound a lot like Ray Weston at times but sings like him as well. Now to my ears that’s a good thing. It’s not a slavish thing it’s more of a natural Ameriprog feel. These songs are broad, melodic compositions with fully formed musical elements joined together to craft longer pieces. Not counting the two short bonus tracks, four of the eight tracks are over seven-minutes in length so as you might imagine there are plenty of musical change-ups. But again these transitions are structured quite organically. Much like the bands mentioned the emphasis stylistically is pretty much a classic rock feel that is then embellished with a Progressive Rock sensibility. For example, certain riffs will be repeated more than just a regular rock/pop song, song intros will be longer or more elaborate and as I mentioned timing and tempos will shift. A good read of this is that the opening song mentioned earlier is edited for a single and comes out to 3:59 chopping almost four minutes off the piece. Another good example is the very Echolyn styled “Fragments of Sleep” [4:37] which closes with the repeating and building of two lyrical lines and strings for the closing sixty-seconds. While that song was more acoustic the next one “Your Arms Hold Them to the Dark” [4:20] starts off deceptively similar until the heavy crashing chorus lines; great aggressive guitars thundering through some amazing riffs. I loved it. In fact there are lots of things I really liked about this release; it’s got a lot of variety and great ideas all well executed. Recommended.