The Darker side of Art (2004) (DERNCD 77) tracklist:
1. Portal Spell
2. At the Crossroads of Worlds
3. A trip through Inner Space
4. Your soul's been sold
5. Pale Ghosts
6. It's cold today in Underworld
7. Black Dragon
8. Dark Jedi:
1. The story of Jedi Knights
2. Anakin on Tatooine
3. The war began
4. On Coruscant with Palpatine
5. Anakin's thoughts - to the dark side
6. Dark Reign
Total time: 54:05
Alisa Coral - synths, keys, synth bass,
vox, drums, percussion
Michael Blackman - rhythm, lead and whammy bar slide guitars
with special guest
Arjen Anthony Lucassen - rhythm
guitars on tracks (6), (8.1), solo on (8.1), acoustic guitar on
(8.4), vocals on (6) and narration on (8.5)
Steve Youles - guest acoustic guitar and solos on track (7)
Jim Lascko a.k.a. Finity - artwork layout and booklet design
Music and words by Alisa Coral. Guitar parts for tracks (1), (2), (4), (5), (8.2), (8.3), (8.6), (8.7) by Michael, for tracks (6), (8.1), (8.4) by Arjen, for track (7) by Steve. Solos on (6) by Michael.
Recorded and mixed at KZI studio (Russia) during August 2002 - March 2003 by Alisa, Michael's guitars recorded at Alien Dream studio (Australia), Arjen's guitars and vocals recorded at "The Electric Castle" studio (Holland).
"Melodramatic synthesizer mixes with overdriven rock guitars. Space rock metal blends with soft synthesizer filigree in a leather and lace fashion." George Parsons, Dream Magazine #5
-------------- From the DEAD EARNEST press-release:---------------
The brand new project from Alisa Coral, featuring Michael Blackman (Alien Dream) with guest appearances from Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One) on several tracks, plus Steve Youles, with cover art from Jim Lascko (Strange Trips).
Musically a mix of driving space-rock, cosmic rock and psychedelic guitars/synths, this will have an undoubted appeal to fans of Hawkwind, Ozric Tentacles, Star One and beyond. Mostly instrumental, it's a choice mix of music and songs, with production, arrangements and playing of the highest quality, not to mention outstanding artwork throughout.
Track by track comments by Alisa:
Portal Spell - the portal spell.
At The Crossroads of Worlds - the follow-up to Portal Spell. The story about where you go from Portal.
A trip through Inner Space - possibly through your mind and fears?..
Your soul's been sold - you think your soul is still _yours_? Maybe you are wrong.
Pale Ghosts - the creatures which can help you on your astral trip. They are white, cold and surrounded by big mechanic noise.
It's cold today in Underworld - the current situation in Underworld. Almost all are gone and it's cold there.
Black Dragon - an ode to Black Dragon, the big Guardian of ancient castles and treasures.
Dark Jedi - my tribute to Darth Vader. A sad story.
The comments on the album (to be updated regularly):
"Space Mirrors CD is full of beautiful spacey sounds and well crafted songs. A welcome addition to the Space Rock catalogue for all aficionados of the genre. " (c) Adrian Shaw (ex-Hawkwind, Bevis Frond)
"Powerfull... Intriguing....and very definitely 'OBSCURE'
Alissa 'Space Mirror's' new record could well be the opening she deserves , and a taste of yet more good "Things to come" ( That's also a Book by HG Wells !)" (c) Tim Blake & Gong Moon Weed
"Alisa Coral's second album following the immense cosmic synth music splendors of the debut CD, but this is altogether different - and something very special. Recorded in collaboration with Michael Blackman (Alien Dream), four featuring Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One) and one featuring Steve Youles, this is a space-rock album through and through, but also a consistently fine one too. Opening with nearly six minutes of scene-setting instrumental cosmic-rock that sounds like it's comes from the middle section of an early seventies Hawkwind set, as synths, guitars, drifting, barely heard female voice, swooping space synths and bass all create a magnificent instrumental introduction that is classic sounding stuff. Then it's into 'At The Crossroads Of Worlds' with a driving space-rock rhythm, guitars firing off all around the place and synths soaring and swooping in between to create a tension-building, driving slice of space-rock that is just fantastic, and when the added bonus of this glorious glissando-like slide guitar figure emerges over the top, the effect is stunning. Then it all drops down to an eerie scenario of space synth swoops, heartbeat drums, distant guitars and more Hawkwind-style space synths all around and distant female vocals, before the rhythms kick in even stronger than before and the whole thing, slide guitars, electric guitars, synths, bass and drums, all cruise effortlessly upwards and onwards for nearly six minutes. 'A Trip Through Inner Space' is more textural instrumental stuff, with a more relaxed feel than on the first track, while the music, solid it has to be said, wafts and drifts throughout, synths and guitars creating some magical cosmic-rock moods. 'Your Soul's Been Sold' starts with a solid, chunky rhythm as the space synths and electronic backdrops soar from horizon to horizon, as the gorgeous female voice drifts around from the back while a new guitar lead emerges and gradually builds to provide a steaming slice of space-rock with more layers of synths and guitars than you can throw a comet at, yet all superbly produced and arranged, the guitar work really electrifying the proceedings as then synths fly and soar over the ever strong rhythmic motor. More layers are built with barely discernible voices, as the piece slowly dies to a spacey finale. 'Pale Ghosts' opens with a hail of guitars, fuzzed, wah-wah, lead and rhythm, as drums roll in, bass thunders below and synths fly all around, and another driving, mid-paced slice of space-rock magic blossoms into flower, the guitar really spiraling as the huge wealth of sound is built up and powered along, this all continuing for a mighty eight minutes. 'It's Cold Today In Underworld' is the album's first real song, with guitar and vocals provided by Lucassen, over the backdrop of driving space-rock rhythm guitars, space-synths and rhythms from the main conspirators, another spiraling slice of classic space-rock. 'Black Dragon' is another more spacious but full-sounding excursion from the synths and guitars, bass and percussives, into deep space and beyond, again building and layering as it goes, always changing, always sounding firmly "space-rock" in its approach and feel, and just wonderful music. The album ends with the most driving track of all as 'Dark Jedi' features a pummelling drum rhythm, solid lead guitars, space synths flying all around, thunderous bass and the more distant vocals from Alisa as the guitar then rises to the surface and this lead blitz of soloing space-rock guitars, thunders out into the night skies, the sound so solid from top to bottom, then suddenly the rhythm decelerates as this monster cauldron of guitars, synths, electronic drums, bass and more guitars travels in juggernaut fashion through the airwaves, laying waste to anything in its path, gradually dying away, only to reveal yet another new twist as the synths, guitars, bass and drums, rise to an almost unbearable climax and the whole thing just drives unstoppably, taking no prisoners inside its awesome, multi-layered, intense sonic soup. Near the six minute mark it drops to acoustic guitars, flute-like synth lead, space-synths surrounds, bass rhythm backdrop as yet another new direction is brought in, working to an absolute treat. Just over eight minutes it changes again as a cosmic synths backdrop adds space-vocal narration over the top, briefly, then this huge mass of synths and electric guitars emerges from nowhere and the piece just takes off even more than it has so far, absolute space-rock bliss achieved to perfection, and just short of twelve amazing minutes of music, it drops down, only to re-emerge seconds later, drums and bass still propelling the synths and guitars as it all suddenly fades and all you are left is wanting to play the whole darned lot over again from the beginning. You can't argue with an album as good as this. (c) Andrew Garibaldi (CD Services, the album will be available there when released.)
"Haunting & vibrant electro-guitar, bass synth and emotive vox - very dark!" (c) Terry Hawke - "Hawke - In Space".
Review in Prognaut
Review on Sonic Curiosity website read copy
Review in Modern Dance magazine - read copy.
Interview in Nucleus - Argentinean Prog Magazine
Interview and review in Eclipsed Magazine - the song "Pale Ghosts" is featured on sampler.
Interview in Russian Dark-City Magazine
Review on Space Rock site
Article about Space Mirrors in Italian Fantasy Magazine by Dalmazio Frau (in Italian).
Review on Finnish music website - in Finnish.
Review in "Hellride Music" by Chris La Tray
Review in Russian Dark City magazine (in Russian)
http://aural-innovations.com/2004/april/spacmir2.html - Interview/Review at Aural Innovations.
http://www.silhobbit.com/silweb/albumreviews/space%20mirrors%20-%20tdsoa.htm - review at prog rock website.
http://www.starfarer.net/dsoacd.html - Steve Youles review.
http://aural-innovations.com/2004/march/spacmirr.html - first review at Aural Innovations from Sccoott Heller.