CD Reviews

Cosmograf - 'When Age Has Done Its Duty' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 11, 2011    
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Absolutely fabulous.

Cosmograf is a progressive rock project lead by Robin Armstrong, a multi instrumentalist musician from Hampshire. This is his/their third album, and focuses upon the theme of ageing and personal experiences when growing up. Previous albums: ‘Freed From the Anguish’ (2008) and ‘End Of Ecclesia’ (2009) were also conceptual, and were concerned with the tale of a man’s journey through the second world war and the conflict between science and religion respectively. This latest release includes contributions from a number of special guests from the progressive rock world including Bob Dalton (It Bites), Steve Thorne, Lee Abraham (Lee Abraham Band), Simon Rogers and Steve Dunn (Also Eden) and Luke Machin (The Tangent).

Suffice it to say that this is my first contact with Cosmograf, and the comments that follow can easily be prefaced by the assertion that it will hopefully not be my last, because ‘…Age…’ is a really magnificent, albeit at times quite a quirky, slice of quintessentially English progressive music (“Britprog”) that is rooted in 70s classic rock along but also featuring some particularly contemporary elements. In signing with Festival Music, Armstrong has definitely achieved what he has said he wanted to in his Blog: “I can earn far more for less effort in the day job, but what I really really want is for people to hear my music, just a little recognition, a little virtual pat on the back from as many people as possible to say, 'really enjoyed that album'. Well, perhaps he will have some more if/when Fireworks readers investigate this album.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Perhaps strangely, the start of the album reminded me of Savatage in overall sound – if not vocal delivery - and morphs in and out of delicious power metal interludes with ones of completely contrasting styles: the eleven plus minutes of ‘Into This World’ is a show-stopping attention grabber! ‘Blacksmith’s Hammer’ is much more typical Britprog material, with clear vocals and a rather dreamy feel pervading until a Floydesque guitar break imposes itself. ‘On Which We Stand’ is a lengthy song with a laid back vibe about country life (with another of those imposing guitar breaks, this time to draw the song to a conclusion) while slightly shorter ‘Bakelite Switch’ beginning with a sample of a brass band, a kettle whistling and a dog barking is an eclectic and emphatic paean to the 1970s and is very, very special, as is the classic rock-infused ‘Memory Lost’.

“When the party music stops, we start to age” is part of the prophetic lyrical introduction to the sprawling 13-minute title track following a recitation of Matthew Arnold’s poem ‘Growing Old’…and is another achingly wonderful masterpiece that really does underline how very special Robin Armstrong’s third Cosmograf album is.

I cannot stress how badly you need this if your musical interests encompass the greats and upcoming members of the “Britprog” community. It’s absolutely fabulous…!!

Paul Jerome Smith

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Phill Brentor said:

I am right now listening to this album for the first time.

You know how sometimes, albeit too infrequently, a collection of pieces of music reaches out and grabs you, holds you, and wraps itself around you? Often it takes a few listens to gain the full effect, but sometimes one listen will tell you that you want to get to know every word, note and music nuance. This is that one in a thousand. Pieces that will make you back shiver and send tears to your eyes with emotion.

Difficult to praise it enough and on one listen, I won’t attempt to critique each individual track. All I will say is…..Listen. I am sure you will be disappointed.
October 16, 2016
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