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Epignosis - Still The Waters CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.32 | 60 ratings

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1 stars No, seriously.

This being my first actual written review to ProgArchives, I felt that I needed to begin with something fresh and new - as there's almost too many reviews of old classics by GENESIS, YES or KANSAS and obviously, little new information or 'stuff' to be said about them.

Being an avid stalker of the '2009: Top Albums'-list, or any of the Top Albums of the Year-lists since they were introduced, I enjoy seeing how different albums either withstand the hype during the year, or the expectations of awaited albums get crushed, therefore I could have not missed the placing of EPIGNOSIS' 'Still The Waters' in that list. After also finding out how Epignosis - our beloved reviewer, shared similar musical influences with me, and reading the overwhelmingly positive reviews by other co-reviewers, I thought I'd better pick the album up.

But no, seriously. 'Still the Waters' is truly one the worst albums I've heard in 2009, and probably the worst I've ever heard - if we're talking about Symphonic Prog here. Everything in it, just makes me want to cringe.

As the technology has vastly improved from the 70s, we do get a lot of these one-man multi-instrumentalist bands or projects popping up, ever so frequently nowadays. But no.

The vocal work by Robert W. Brown, Jr. is just hideous, when it comes to listening to actual trained singers, or anybody else, who actually gets a record contract due to his or her vocal capabilities. Robert W. Brown, Jr. just lacks the needed passion to actually get the sound out - alive, vibrant, or with any kind feeling at all. Adding a few ghastly home-studio effects to the vocal parts doesn't help at all either. You know the feeling what you get after listening to early Idols episodes? Personally I'm getting embarrassed after hearing Robert W. Brown, Jr.'s singing, and sometimes even anxious - I'm stopping to listen if he can hit a note or not.

The guitar work is probably the best thing about the album, as the album has a couple of decentish solos. Nothing groundbreaking, or anything you should or could memorize. The semi-acoustic guitar in the background every now and then is otherwise very monotonous, and repetitive, it really sounds rather amateurish.

And talking about amateurish. The drums, or well, the drum machine. Especially in the title track, through to 'Move'. It's just really, really horrible. You really GET the feeling that there's a drum machine here, configured so that there's some various offbeats every now and then, since a human couldn't actually play this poorly (and record it for all the world to hear). Just listen to the fill of 'A Pearl In the Field' at around 0.55. You'll catch the drift.

All the other instruments, from the bass to the synth backgounds are rather nonexistent, and somehow decentish as well, due to not being too much advertised, or actually played. That is if you're not talking about any solos. After you've listened to your YES or ELP, and you think you could invent a quick, good synth solo out of the blue, you're just awfully wrong - they never sound good, great or anything like that. EPIGNOSIS truly confirms that. The synthesizer solo at 4.45 of the title track, 'Still The Waters', is a solid example. It just leaves you hoping for so oh-much more, and then actually wanting to never hear that solo again.

Why on earth did I review this one then? Well, I'm interested in seeing how inbred ProgArchives really is. Are all the very few positive reviews made only by the 'blind' friends or colleagues? Noticing the larger then life-reviews from fellow reviewers here in ProgArchives, the rather odd placing of 'STILL THE WATERS' in the current ProgArchives Top 2009 Albums-list, and the abundance of any kind of critique to a rather poor one-man debut album, I just felt that I had to share my views as well. Perhaps I'll even save the money of a fellow PA '2009: Top Albums'-lists stalker!

And a little tip, If you'd want my bet for the best one-man multi-instrumentalist debut album of 2009, I'd vote for PROGRESSION BY FAILURE. Just check out their MySpace, and 'Memories From The Future' from that annoying MySpace-player. Now there's some solid synth work. Thank heavens.

drwlf | 1/5 |


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