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Epignosis - Refulgence CD (album) cover

REFULGENCE

Epignosis

 

Symphonic Prog

3.92 | 23 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Re·ful·gence (\ri-ˈfu̇l-jən(t)s, -ˈfəl-\), noun : a radiant or resplendent quality or state

Refulgence is the second album by Epignosis, a solo musical project by Rob Brown with support vocals from his wife, Tasha. A large portion of this album is focussed on the idea of Refulgence, which is not only referenced in the album name and the cover art, but is also the name of the only track surpassing 6 minutes (the 17 minute title track). There is a bit of a "Duke Suite" feel going on here as well, with Effulgence leading naturally into Refulgence, and Fade reprising the theme from Refulgence.

"I am not the light, I'm just a cracked little mirror covered with filth and dust", Robert sings in the chorus of the title track. It's a Christian reference, but very humble and reverential, and cleverly used in various other parts of the song ("Is it seven years bad luck to shatter me to the shards I am?")

Completing the "Duke Suite" effect this album sort of has is, as I mentioned, the closing track Fade, sung by Tasha. This one says, "Jesus is the light, and he can make you a mirror by his perfect grace" - so instead of being about a Christian, it's about Jesus himself. This song has a more peaceful feel to it, focussing more on piano than guitars. I prefer Tasha's singing to Robs in most cases, and combined with the different mood, I think it provides a great contrast between the mirror and the light. Very well done.

A lot of solo albums suffer from focussing too much on one instrument, the instruments not played by the lead member supporting the lead instead of working together. In this case, Rob shows a good command of multiple instruments. The focus is mostly on the electric and acoustic guitars, but they keys are tastefully done and when the piano comes in, it's always pretty and well played. And although Rob is not a drummer, and the drums on this album are programmed, they actually sound rather good (and even have a pretty good tone!). One thing that has been done quite well is working the drums and guitars together, so that each is stronger in the presence of the other than they would be apart. Very complementary. Although this album doesn't quite have a full band sound all the time, for the most part it does, and it never sounds like it is just one guy on his own.

As I mentioned, I do prefer Tasha's vocals over Robs. This is partially because I tend to enjoy female vocals more than males in a lot of cases, but also because her voice feels a bit more full. There are a few points on this album where Rob really shines (A Handful of Humanity is the best part), but at some points his voice doesn't sound full enough to match the emotion of the music. He does do great support vocals though; when he and Tasha sing together, it works incredibly well.

Oh yeah, and although this album is mostly reverential, make no mistake; Epignosis can rock out, as is done on the track "Bold Eternal Day", one of the best song on the album!

TheGazzardian | 3/5 |

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