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Cosmograf - End of Ecclesia CD (album) cover




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Honorary Collaborator
2 stars One-man project started in 2007 by British multi-instrumentalist and singer Robin Armstrong from Waterlooville, Hampshire.His first digital album ''Freed From the Anguish'' from 2008 remained in the shadows with Armstrong himself admitting it was a mediocre production.In 2009 Cosmograf return with a second work entitled ''End of Ecclesia'', which finally caught some attention.It was a concept release around the battle between science and religion with Armstrong composing all tracks and playing all instruments except from the last track ''The Dark that follows the Light'', helped by his children Sam and Amy on voices and Steve Dunn from Also Eden on composing, bass and guitars.

While the style of the album sees Mr. Armstrong in an inconsistent phase overall, one can find plenty of good elements next to the mistakes of an inexprienced musician.Actually ''End of Ecclesia'' suffers from the rather boring and heavy rhythmic guitar parts, which sound very monotonous and uninspired, along with Armostrong's very harsh vocals at moments.His compositions though are played with dignity, energy, enjoyment and a strong appetite for creating something great.It actually reminds me of a more artistic and dynamic approach by STEVE THORNE with a somewhat Neo Prog flavor but also with a mass of influences appearing here and there, including Heavy Metal, Classical Music and Folk.The great instrumental parts with the piano, electric guitars, organ and synthesizers are possibly the best thing this album has to offer, with Armstrong creating some strong melodies and deep soundscapes.''Return to the sea pt.2'', ''The Dark that follows the Light'' and ''La iglesia'' are certainly the better examples of this fact with nice PINK FLOYD, TRANSATLANTIC and even GENESIS overtones surrounding the whole atmosphere.A couple of mediocre ballads are also in the menu but there are some interesting ideas thrown in as well like the almost Gregorian chants appearing on the first couple of tracks, the somewhat electronic-sounding intros and the good acoustic parts of the album.What though trully spoils the whole effort is the limited number of the almost Altertnative Rock cuts with the crunchy guitars, repetitive grooves and average angry-sounding vocals.

''End of ecclesia'' seems like a compressed sum of different ideas by Robin Armstrong, which sometimes works well and other ones ends up in a total mess, depending on the track.However his most progressive material really sounds good enough to keep an eye on Cosmograf's further releases.For fans of Neo Prog and contemporary Progressive/Art Rock...2.5 stars.

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Posted Thursday, April 26, 2012 | Review Permalink

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