Cliffhanger, Cold Steel, 2013 remaster
Dutch label Freia Music are at it again. This time with a re-release of the 1995 album Cold Steel from Dutch neo prog band Cliffhanger. Well re-release is not quite right, this is also an expanded feature with a total of 13 unreleased tracks being added on a separate disk. Originally released on the now defunct SI-music label and thus long unavailable. All tracks have been carefully restored by founder and keyboardist Dick Heijboer. History of the band shows some turbulence. Ever since their start in 1993 there have been a couple of breaks and restarts. In total 4 albums were released before the split was definite at the end of the nineties. Several members are or were still active though.
There is probably still a demand for this type of music although in all honesty it does not rank among my favourites. It has its fine moments but for me the music is a bit far fetched sometimes, with too many ideas glued together. Also the singing is typical for the genre, fairly high pitched and a bit thin. Coming from a hard rock background myself, I prefer the more full bodied throats. 😉
Yet there are many people out there who love this stuff. And be assured, all trademarks are there: mellotron and hammond, guitar and keyboard solo´s, busy bass lines on probably a rickenbacker and odd time signatures. If you reckon yourself a fan of the genre, and do not already own this, or even if you do, with 2 disks and over 20 tracks this is a bargain! I would also like to add that Freia Music is a non-profit label that donates 25% of its proceeds to the Children with A Challenge Foundation!