Although it is not “prog”, the progressive nature of solarminds’ Her Spirit Cracked the Sky provides the listener with an aural experience to be reconciled with. Conceived out of a jam session by Chris Miner and Victor Ibarra, the project solarminds is currently led by Chris himself. His latest effort is a 3 track, 42-minute (now that’s prog) art piece that was recorded at Chris’ late mother’s house in Ozark, Alabama. The compositions are all written and recorded by Chris himself while the album was engineered by Douglas Plaisance. And with drums parts added by Kevin Carnes and the whole album mastered by Alan Douches, the result is the unearthly yet intimate reflection that we hear in the record.
The album was a manifestation of Chris’s emotions after his mother’s passing since the inspiration for the songs came not long after. According to Chris, in the evening that she passed away, there was a powerful thunderstorm in the San Diego area. With many lightning strikes one after another, it was a scene not experienced in decades. The ambiguous title is actually a reference to this natural event yet one cannot overlook its importance to the tone of the whole album.
The songs feel spiritual and from within but the experience is a visual journey through the soundscapes that spark your imagination in countless different ways. The grand epic that spans the first side in its entirety is “The Gift” which introduces this cinematic expressiveness with auditory imageries. Cleansed from your burdens as the rain washes on your ears, you are hypnotized with the unfeigned repetition of “The Lie”. The eerie nature of “The Visit” makes you twitch and your fingers curl… It makes you desperately want to look behind as you are sure of a different presence in the air.
Whether it is the bloodcurdling thunder sounds that intertwine the first two tracks or the uneasy and impending feel of the percussion buildup in “The Visit'', solarminds know how to create the perfect environment to strip us of our barriers and hurl us into this distant world of tense (e)motions. Blindsided by the sheer sonic power of the album, you are left to let go, for what remains is from the trails of the thunderstorm.
Check out Mind Altering Records' site to hear more about the album!