Originally released in 2008, Russian label MALS has decided to pick up this album by Canadian artist Rick Miller and provide it with a proper re-release. In good time they did it, as this album is deserving of a wider audience. And it has made me eager to know the remaining works of this artist, as what is to be listened in this Angel of My Soul may well be seen (heard) as a wet dream of all those who like that dark symphonic atmospheres full of emotion, drama and great melodic guitar soloing units, many times reminiscent of Pink Floyd.
Though the only little sin that can be pointed out in this particular release is the throughout maintenance of a specific theme and musical approach, still it presents too many moments of pure brilliance that counterbalance and hugely surpass the less positive things that you might pointed out, and turns out to be a major, mandatory, release for all those who review their musical tastes on the scope of Miller’s musicality.
Basically the album, while lyrically portrays some good vs evil battles, especially within an individual mind, is especially rich in what concerns the emotional side of musicality. The dark feel and vibe is a constant, but it is always presented with that small entry of light that represents the omnipresent hope. If the singing imposes that emotional status, the slow-tempo musicality adds to the dark atmospheres that are created, punctuated by haunting choirs, ghostly flute appearances and occasional violin intrusions.
To better try to frame this artist’s musicality, I would put it in the same shelve as Metamorphosis and Antimatter in what concerns the dark symphonic and emotional status, mixed with (early) RPWL and Supercomet in what concerns the Pink Floyd and (solo) David Gilmour reminiscences, though not using them in such an obvious way as the later indicated band. The PF reminiscences are mainly pointed to the later works of that band (especially The Division Bell’s darker moments). The guitar soloing is, despite not sounding alike, very knowledgeably near to the melodic approach of master David Gilmour, this meaning that they also are full of emotion and harmony, and the way they are put inside the tracks show perfect tempo and opportunity. This is an ability that is not at the reach of everybody, so it must be praised for this particular artist!
Overall this is a great piece of artful music that fully fulfills my appetite for dark emotional music with great melody and a slow tempo. And then it has all those great guitar solos and orchestral/symphonic arrangements. In that specific scope, this album is an absolute must-have!