Space Mirrors is a duo with a pair of special guests, making very spacey yet heavy music. At its core is an electronic heartbeat, provided by main composer Alisa Coral (who suggests Vangelis and Jean-Michel Jarre) but unlike new-age electronica or even more modern electronic spaceprog, this is buffed and shiny with genetic implants courtesy of prog-metal guitars (Michael Blackman of Alien Dream). Excellent sideman input is made by guitarists Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon) and Steve Youles (Starfarer), most notably on the two powerful tracks that close the album.
Unlike a lot of space music this CD manages to avoid the obvious pitfalls of raiding the blueprints of Hawkwind (rock) and Tangerine Dream (electronics). Instead an interesting space-metal hybrid has been created that isn't much like anybody else. Though there are vocals, they are mainly used in a narrative voice and sound-effect manner, rather than boss-lead-singer role, becoming another instrument in the mix for those (like me) that find the lyrical content to be a fairly lightweight. Though having said that I should add that my sons (both Star Wars nuts) hijacked the CD as soon as they saw the name of the last tune!
Every composition on the disc is good -- there's a lot of imagination on display here. In fact I think that this is some of the strongest spacerock I've heard in a long time. Flip a coin or roll some dice to decide which are the best of a superior set put together by superb craftsmen. For my money when all is said and done, "The Darker Side of Art" breaks free of being merely good, surging into top drawer on tracks 7 ("Black Dragon") and the multi-part suite "Dark Jedi"). Put headphones on, close the curtains, dim the lights, and race for space.
Who would like this? Prog-metal fans looking to get really spacey. Space-cadets looking for some muscle and some hard rock that doesn't revisit every riff ever played by Dave Brock. Well worth picking up IMO. Who would not like it? Those that don't like spacerock and prog-metal can give this a pass.
Reviewed by Steven Davies-Morris on September 28th, 2006