The Dark Aether Project - News
The Dark Aether Project - News

Special DAP Holiday Free CD Offer

Here's a special offer to those who have yet to check out the latest release from The Dark Aether Project. If you purchase "The Gentle Art of Firewalking" via the online vendor CD Street (, you'll get a free copy of the "What's New in Baltimore" CD sampler while supplies last.

WNIB - originally only available in copies of Expose' magazine - features the re-worked/re-recorded version of "Feed The Silence" featuring the same lineup that recorded the new album. It also features great tracks by Uncle Gut, Kurgan's Bane, Sonus Umbra, Dysfunctional Family, Trephine MD, DAP's Allen Brunelle's electronic project "Tempustry" and more!

A Review of "The Gentle Art of Firewalking" by Stephanie Sollow from

"While I didn't have all good things to say about The Dark Aether Project's 1998 self-titled debut release -- I haven't reviewed their second release -- my general opinion was positive. But, two years and another vocalist change later, The Dark Aether Project release The Gentle Art Of Firewalking. This is a stunningly beautiful album. I am blown away by it. All the changes in the band since 1998 - the mainstay member being Adam Levin (Warr 8-String touch style guitar, bass, guitar, keys, and loops) -- have been for the best. Not to dis' his previous cohorts, but the quartet he has brought in this time - Jennifer Huff on vocals; Allen Brunelle on drums, backing vocals, and keyboards; John McCloskey on guitar, and Marty Saletta on keyboards and stick -- have made this year's Dark Aether Project the best yet.

New vocalist Huff has a wonderfully warm voice, though it doesn't quite work for me on "Shades." Yaman Aksu has been replaced by McCloskey on guitar and I have to say that I fell for this album just based on the first track, the instrumental "Crossing The Threshold." While Levin , Brunelle, and are not absent here, their sparse, measured, moody lines provide the perfect backdrop to McCloskey's guitar excursions. It's the kind of mellow and yet energetic piece that would sound sublime live, at dusk, under a slowly darkening sky. Beautiful. These very same words could describe the title track as well, as the clear notes from McCloskey speak with the same voice -- saying something different, a little lighter, a little more upbeat, but the same voice.

"Night Embrace" is the second track and the first with vocals. Here Levin on touch guitar is the lead instrument. Huff's vocal delivery is part sung, part spoken, and while it may seem I over use this word (I think I used it above) this is very very moody ... recalling for me at once a merging of The Motels, Berlin, and mellow The Gathering and Brave. Oh, yes, and more tasty guitar from McCloskey.

Musically, the "aether" part of their name is very strong, reminding me also of many a Dark Symphonies artist - which I guess has now become shorthand for a particular type of music. My impression of Dark Aether Project has never been that of darkwave, and yet here they easily could qualify. Not that they would need to for any reason. But, looking at the lyrics, we do not have a happy bunch of folks... most of the lyrics deal with the pain, anguish, anger, and dark thoughts that come to pass when a relationship hits the skids...or disintegrates...

Did I say this was mellow darkwave? Well, not entirely, as one just needs to listen to the searing guitar of McCloskey -- hmm, I must have a McCloskey fixation. Nah, I just love guitar and McCloskey gives the listener lots to love. I mean, there aren't highlights - nearly the whole album is a highlight. The band's playing is so tight, so perfect (or near enough to me that I can't find anything to quibble about). "Shades" is angular, jazz-fusiony and, at times, reminded me of Echolyn ("Carpe Diem," I think) -- the interesting note here for those who are A) unfamiliar with DAP or B) haven't read my previous review yet is that during Echolyn's extended hiatus, bassist/vocalist Ray Weston was DAP's vocalist for Feed The Silence, their second release.

Did I say jazz fusion? How about some metallic ferocity by way of "Sparks Fly"? No misnomer that, as the sparks do fly - off grungy, acid guitar (McCloskey, of course, but also Levin -- one for each ear), great "proggy" keyboards, a bit Emersonian ... a bit of a Middle Eastern flavour during a solo, funky bass... does it sound like they're having fun? It's like a tightly organized jam...

"Embers" is a very ambient, atmospheric track with Brunelle's spoken words playing against Huff's ethereal vocals. Levin's 8-string touchstyle guitar playing circular, bass-deep phrases beneath keyboard washes and loops of sound. The synth solo from Brunelle has an almost violin sound at times, pitched a little higher than "usual," but certainly fills the same role, sounding sweet, but melancholy... especially during the outro.

Wow! This is one of the best releases for 2002, for sure. It's quite reluctant to leave my player, perhaps knowing that there's more to absorb than what I shared already. This is one disk not to miss."

The Dark Aether Project "The Gentle Art of Firewalking" Press Release

The Dark Aether Project has been an ever-mutating musical entity since the nucleus of the idea for the group first revealed itself to Warr 8 String Touchstyle Guitarist Adam Levin during an early Spring 1997 weekend of work with the Seattle Guitar Circle - a group that traces its origins to the work of King Crimson mainstay Robert Fripp's Guitar Craft seminars.

The initial lineup to perform in a public setting was a strictly instrumental trio which added occasional vocals by the time of their self-titled debut album's release in early 1998. The band quickly came to be recognized as one of the hardest gigging progressive rock bands on the East Coast in a short matter of time.

In 1999, the band's second CD "Feed the Silence" was released to high critical praise and saw their reach expanding as tours brought them up and down the east coast.

In mid-1999 writing began on what would eventually become the band's third CD. Early versions of music for the new CD were premiered as the band performed at the 5th Annual Progday International Progressive Rock Festival and subsequent shows throughout the end of the year.

By 2000, the band was even further lengthening its reach by playing festivals in Columbus, Ohio and Hartford, Connecticut, the main stage at New York's prestigious downtown avant/experimental club "The Knitting Factory" and accepted an invitation from the members of the reunited classic 70's progressive rock group Happy the Man to open their first concert in over 20 years at The State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia.

By early 2001 a completely revamped 5 piece lineup of The Dark Aether Project emerged to perform at the release party for a compilation featuring the brightest stars from Baltimore's vibrant progressive rock scene entitled "What's New in Baltimore?" which was included in the February 2001 issue of Expose' Magazine. The new lineup of the band contributed a new recording of a totally new arrangement of the title track from "Feed the Silence" for the compilation.

In October 2001 the band settled down into Levin's studio "The House of Dark Aether" in Severn, Maryland to record the tracks for the new album "The Gentle Art of Firewalking." Unlike the previous two albums where the recording sessions took place in little more than a weekend, the new album was recorded over a three month time frame with painstaking attention to detail and production.

The album features 8 songs which show a new Dark Aether Project with a fuller, more diverse and extreme sound - from quiet melodic ambience to full tilt adrenaline pumping displays of technical instrumental prowess. Four vocal tracks are balanced by four instrumental tracks. The lyrical subject matter deals with the ups and downs of interpersonal relationships experienced by certain band members in their personal lives during the writing and recording of the CD.

The music, while occasionally being reminiscent of classic artists like King Crimson's 73-74 and 80's eras, as well as others such as Pink Floyd and Mahavishnu Orchestra at times - is not a throwback to the past. It is very much forward-looking and contemporary featuring elements that stray into the realm of post-rock, world music, ambient music, math rock, space/psychedelic rock and contemporary hard rock. It's hard to pin a label on the music appearing on "The Gentle Art of Firewalking" because it is such a unique and diverse blend of styles and influences.

The Dark Aether Project's lineup, in addition to Levin features drummer/keyboardist Allen Brunelle who joined the group shortly after the release of "Feed the Silence" and was previously a member of fellow Baltimore progressive rock group "Iluvatar" and also has his own electronic music project "Tempustry; vocalist Jennifer Huff who joined in the summer of 2000 and cut her teeth performing and recording with the group "The Treblemakers"; guitarist John McCloskey who joined in the Fall of 2000 and is also known for his work with the band "On the Rocks"; and finally keyboardist Marty Saletta who joined in early 2001 and was a member of Baltimore progressive rock groups "Chaos Code" and "The Web".

Sound samples from all album tracks are available for previewing on The Dark Aether Project's web site at

The band is pleased to announce a full line of new merchandise to accompany the release of the new CD. T-shirts, sweatshirts, ball caps, coffe mugs and mouse pads are available for online ordering through the vendor via the following link:

"The Gentle Art of Firewalking" will be available soon from many fine music vendors including online megastore

The band will be supporting the release of the new CD with a special CD release concert at Orion Sound Studios located at 2903 Whittington Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland on Saturday January 26th, 2002 at 8pm with special guest Matthew Parmenter of the Michigan progressive rock outfit Discipline. Tickets are $10 and are available through Ticketweb online at for this all ages event. For more information visit or call Orion Sound Studios at (410)646-7334 after 2pm.


Artist: The Dark Aether Project
Title: The Gentle Art of Firewalking
Release Date: January 26th, 2002
UPC Code: 791022199628

Track Listing:
1) Crossing the Threshold (Music: McCloskey)
2) Night Embrace (Music: Levin/Brunelle - Vocal Melody/Lyrics: Huff)
3) The Gentle Art of Firewalking (Music: Levin/Brunelle)
4) Mask (Music: Levin - Lyrics: Huff - Vocal Melody: Huff/Levin)
5) 3rd Degree (Music: Brunelle/Levin/McCloskey)
6) Shades (Music/Lyrics: Levin - Vocal Melody: Huff/Levin)
7) Sparks Fly (Music: Levin)
8) Embers (Music: Levin/Brunelle - Vocal Melody/Lyrics: Brunelle)

All Arrangements by The Dark Aether Project
Produced and Engineered by Adam Levin
Recorded at The House of Dark Aether - Severn, MD

The Dark Aether Project is:
Allen Brunelle: Drums/Background Vocals/Keyboards
Jennifer Huff: Vocals
Adam Levin: Warr 8 String Touch Guitar/Bass/Guitar/Keyboards/Loops
John McCloskey: Acoustic and Electric Guitars
Marty Saletta: Keyboards/Stick

For distribution/interviews/bookings and other inquiries contact:
Dark Aether Productions
PO Box 2332
Columbia MD 21045
Web Site: