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Epignosis - Still the Waters CD (album) cover

STILL THE WATERS

Epignosis

 

Symphonic Prog

3.32 | 56 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

JJLehto
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Ah, refreshing to listen to some grassroots music. "Still the Waters" is the debut release of Epignosis, a one man band, (which always makes it more impressive!) along with some guest vocals. Where to start? This is an impressive piece of music. It is a very guitar and keyboard heavy work, and indeed these instruments drive most of the album and are the focal point. The instrumentation is very good, Mr. Brown is a talented musician.

However, there is more to an album than skill of course. How much music have you heard that was obviously talented but you just didn't feel it? Luckily, this is not an issue. While musical skill is clearly present, so is compositional skill. The songs are lovely, and well crafted. There are wonderful sections and the flow is perfect. Perhaps the strongest point of the music is its atmosphere. Each section has great ambiance. Some particularly strong moments are halfway through the opening track. After a chillingly mellow section, followed by an acoustic bridge, some heavy guitar comes in over the continuing acoustic guitar while some aquatic sounding keys are over it. Aquatic is the feeling it gave me at least. A great place to just lean back and absorb it all in.

Another nice one is in the second half of "An Everlasting Kingdom" in which heavy guitar is played under a spacey, than almost 70's esque southern rock keyboard solo. There are many of these throughout the album so I singled out two I enjoy, but there are many. I don't want to give too much away now! I also do enjoy the heavier guitar is used because it has a very raw feeling to it, and contrasts with the rest of the album, especially when milder keyboard is being played over it. Speaking of guitar, the solo's are some of the best moments. They are always well placed and emotional. There is a real power you can feel behind them. Most importantly, while the guitar solo's do stand out, (as they should) it is balanced with great music under it.

Now onto the vocals. Personally, I like them. Brown has a very nice voice. More than just that, they quite often fit the music perfectly. However, this is one area that could use some improvement. Sometimes they sound a bit forced, or just not quite right. Early on in "An Everlasting Kingdom" is one example, as well as the first half of "No Shadow of Turning". However, the vocals are not bad at all, in fact they are quite lovely. As the case with many debut albums, this is sure to improve in the future.

The only real complaint I can give this album is the drumming. Now as an ardent and long time drummer, I will admit I can be overly critical. However, the drums are not a major part of this album at all. They are adequate, but that is all. Though there are some nice moments, the drumming is generally simple beat keeping and follows along with the music strictly. While that is the primary job, and there is nothing wrong with it, there is also nothing about that it stands out at all over the whole album. The actual quality of the drums is a bit poor, and sounds like it was done with a drum machine/program. This is understandable given the circumstances, however it would be something that could greatly improved on in the future, if possible.

Overall this is a great album. The music is solid. In fact more than solid at many times. The songs are very well composed with great sections, flow and overall feel. There are moments when the music can drag a bit, especially in the longer songs, but it never goes too long. While the music is good, this album is greater than the sum of its parts. That is what makes this album a four over a three and a half, the atmosphere. It really pulls everything together and can really take you away at times.

A great album. Well played, constructed and thought out. While I have spoke about the ambiance and feel the music itself is more than just atmospheric. There is physical talent abundant, and some superb guitar solos. Great construction for a debut. The vocals are nice, but could use some improvement and a drummer could seriously be used. Cymbal rolls are times when I cringe at the sound. However, I do understand it may be difficult to get a human drummer at the time. I'd be willing to volunteer myself for the future ; )

A solid, fresh, atmospheric and well composed symphonic prog album. Definitely recommended.

3.5 Stars

BUMP: FOUR STARS

JJLehto | 4/5 |

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