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Robert Fripp - At The End Of Time CD (album) cover


Robert Fripp


Eclectic Prog

4.40 | 26 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars From those Robert Fripp's solo soundscapes I have heard, this record returns again to the finest celestial spheres I found earlier from his divine "The Gates of Paradise" album. The music focuses again more deeply to the mystic feelings and religious experiences. These solemn relations in the musical context are underlined with use of both church bell and pipe organs resembling sounds, which create beautiful contrasts with very low-pitched and vast humming, associating with echoes of infinity and most profound human questions. The descending and ascending motives form waves summoning forth a powerful sacred spiritual experience, full with melancholic solemnity with presence of hope. These tides on the sea of soothing peacefulness sail to both hypnotic calm phases and cross-picked guitar mantras. Some of the synthesized sounds are quite realistic, some having more artificial characteristics. There are also some fine guitar solos, where the instrument's sound is not so much processed.

Major theme of the album are several variations of "Evensong" from the Fripp & Eno album "Evening Star"; In Tallinn the descending notes of referred track are audible in the tingling background layers, in Viljandi the overall humming sound presence and in codas quiet bells, then in Haapsalu session the dark motives behind solo guitar along with the serene coda details. The wind chime sounding quiet bells dominant on codas of these "Evensong" prayers are very beautiful, chanting with piety their minimal cycles. These entities are segmented with two tranquil phases titled "At The End of Time", and the final "Evensong" is reached through powerful deep sounds of "Future Shift", offering visions from more atonal ethereal planes. The last phase of the album has very sorrowful progression with electronically treated solos, reaching later more hopeful yearning to its flight, before escaping to most blissful bells fading to the void of celestial harmonies.

The composition of the record is built successfully from the church concert recordings, which were captured from a small tour in England and Estonia, reaching a solid thematic album from the emotional logics of the sacred sounds. In the CD booklet there are links to DGM Live web shop, from where one can purchase flac/mp3 downloads of five whole concerts from which this album was built. Robert also shares his memories from the tour and contemplations about his musical career and philosophical views.

I believe this music is relying mostly on the feeling of sounds, not containing very complex musical content. The performances must have been extraordinary events in the churches, if one should be open to peaceful spiritual experiences. Though I do not accept any dogmas of religions preached by men correct, but I see wisdom in William Blake's words "all religions are one". I think the urge to search answers to spiritual questions is a fundamental part of human existence. Though the answer might not be possible to be found, it is possible that search itself is more important, and I refuse to accept the conflict of secular scientific and spiritual faith based views of world - a clash that I have noted to be strong in the segment of society being visible to me. For those who are doing this search or just like beautiful ambient-oriented music, I would certainly recommend this extraordinary album.

Eetu Pellonpaa | 5/5 |


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