Mosher, Scott - Virtuality

Year of Release: 2001
Label: The Ambient Mind
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 72:16:00

Scott Mosher's Virtuality is a much deeper work than any review can adequately express, even by me, being one is prone to lengthy, verbose, and often tangential reviews. As much as this album is about the music, it is about the message. And it is those messages and meaning of the lyrics that one, I, could get lost in. Mosher defines "virtuality" as "the convergence of sight, sound and progressive perspective on socio-political and environmental issues." Mosher shares some of his perspectives both in the liner notes and the lyrics (you'll also find a list of links to worthy organizations). From that, you can gather that we don't have here 12 songs rather lightweight topics, but rather ruminations on the world around us and within us. Mosher's view is pessimistic, but it is a future that seems all very plausible. The cover depicts a smoke-choked sky with factories only adding to the haze. I need only look out at Los Angeles on any morning as see just such a sight. On a clear day, you can see the LA high-rises...but clear days are rare, and more often then not, you see this brown blanket obscuring the horizon. Mosher is based on the other side of the US, in North Carolina, but I am certain that this toxic air exists even there. And I hear in my mind's ear a line from "Synchronicity II" by the Police...which doesn't relate otherwise except for the "belching filth into the sky" phrase. Which indicates that Mosher isn't the only introspective extroverted artist out there. This he shares with another hard rocking, thinking-person's band, namely Rush.

Mosher bills his music as "ambient neo-progressive cyber-rock." Now, don't go expecting a whole lot of what is commonly referred to as neo-prog, as I hear not a wit of any known neo-prog band, even I "stop calling us neo" Q. No, Mosher is solidly in the hard rock genre - well, cyber-rock. Futuristic themes where technology has a greater hold on our lives. It's that same dystopia I've found in Brainstorm's Tales Of The Future and Reindel's Mind Probe and Mere Mortal, though these artists are by no means unique in that vision. That leaves "ambient" left to mention... well, this isn't "ambient" in the sense that Eno might use, as the music isn't as subtle as, say, Music For Airports (to namecheck a well-known Eno work). Instead, Mosher's ambient is more like synth-based space rock (is there any other kind? I ask, rhetorically)... but don't then think of classic Tangerine Dream... Kevin Braheny is the artist that immediately came to mind. Oh, and there are two tracks that fit into this "ambient" category and that is "Attillon Sunrise," which is a slowly undulating piece of music, and "Shores Of A Cosmic Ocean," which, like Steve Roach, is able to achieve that feeling of static motion. The "cyber-rock" tag is the most common aspect here, and most apparent on "The Human: Machine," but, of course, elsewhere.

So I mentioned Rush as a comparison, but in the case of "The Promise Of Truth" one might think of 80s Journey, circa Frontiers, and specifically "Rubicon," and, perhaps, the title track. If you are one of those who don't care much for the lyrics, there is still plenty for you. Great guitar leads, playing and use of keyboards, etc. -- all Mosher, by the way, though Tom Corso does the singing throughout and plays a guitar solo on "Architects Of The Divine." Mickey "Bass Dawg" James plays a bass solo on "The Promise Of Truth." Usually one points out the highlights of an album...and maybe by default I have, but any one the tracks would qualify, as each are really worth mentioning. But, as I said at the outset, encompassing this album in anything but broad terms would need a review 10 times this size.

Mosher isn't shy about encouraging folks to listen to his music, as anyone who spends any time at E-prog or knows. But, unlike the hard, and often hyperbolic, sell we are inundated with from media outlets and labels that seemingly have money to burn, Mosher can back it up with a very solid release. I can tell you that even though I have put these thoughts down on...well, into bytes and set them loose in the digital world, I'm not really finished listening to this disk yet. I am fascinated by it...I find I want to spend more time with it. And I'm not saying this for any other reason than that this is what I feel. I liken this to my reaction to Pain Of Salvation. You can listen and listen to album over and over again, and get a feel for the music, but one really needs to sit in a place with no distractions and just absorb the album, as there is so much going on -- so much background to it. Preferably, one should do this for a week's time. And by the way, this is the kind of music I like...

So, in case it wasn't obvious, this album comes highly recommended.

Upon The Frontiers Of Infinite Night / Virtuality / The Human: Machine / A Season Of Fire 1. The Crimson Strain 2. Redstorm Rising / Attillon Sunrise / Re-Define / The Dreaming Eye 1. Architects Of The Divine 2. The Heart of Mind / Sometime After Midnight / The Promise Of Truth / Shores Of A Cosmic Ocean / Infinity Burns / Sorrow In A World Of Darkness 1. Solitude 2. The Tempest 3. The Heart Of Darkness 4. Introspection

Scott Mosher - programming, sequencing, 6 & 7 string guitars, voices and percussion
Todd Corsa - vocals; guitar (7.1)
Micky James - bass (9)

Ambient Earth (1995)
Horsemeat (cass) (1995)
Virtuality (2001)
Inferno (2004)
Deep Horizon (2006)
Oceans Of Night - The Shadowheart Mirror (2009)

plus, appearances on:

Eye Of The Storm - Eye Of The Storm
F5's - Dawn Of A New Age (2000)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: October 26th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 720
Language: english


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