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Epignosis - Still The Waters CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.32 | 60 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A Magnificent Pearl

Still the Waters is by no means a groundbreaking album, no, that barely happens nowadays. What you must expect from this album is gentle Symphonic Prog delivered straight from the heart of writer and performer, Robert W. Brown, Jr.

Do not expect modern Symphonic Prog ala Transatlantic or Spock's Beard, no, those are full of complex arrangements, plenty of solos of whatever, over-the-top organ/moog/mellotron, flawless production, with barely space to let in something emotional or peaceful. This is not to disrespect Robert and his capability as a song-writer and vocalist, and of course of his guitar ability, neither the other bands which I like so much, but this statement was settled to make it clear that being in Symphonic and belonging to the 21st century doesn't mean they have to sound like those bands at all.

Epignosis with this album sounds like a wonderful blend of great subtleties, an overall gentle mood full of emotion, and classic prog leanings like odd time signatures, keyboard solos, enlightening guitar solos and splendid craft on the compositions.

Still the Waters begins with the tranquil title track settling a very peaceful mood with almost a melancholic vocal delivery from Robert. The composition overall stays within that quiet position, yet every instrument is so well put that it can't manage to make you fall asleep, if that was what you thought it would do. Some lovely echoey sparkles full-filling the middle of the song interluding with Robert's soft acoustic guitar, finally breaking free with an indeed emotional electric guitar solo, and then returning to it's gentle position once again led by a sweet keyboard.

We move on to the second song, A Pearl in a Field, probably my favorite from the album. With the intriguing keyboard opening, and then the drums and bass following it, you simply have to raise the volume and listen more closely. Then moving to acoustic field like in the previous song, with some marvellous Genesis-esque keyboards, however that quickly changes of rythm, and then once again until there's the unique cheerful mood Robert is capable of creating, and that's when the song really begins. Bringing some really beautiful keyboards with an effective up-lifting acoustic guitar that reminds me of the beauty and mellowness of Trespass by Genesis, totally charming. However Robert saves the best for the end, finishing with the same intriguing keyboards and loud drums, he adds another splendid guitar solo, again you must crank up your speakers, this time to fully appreciate the feeling I have everytime I listen to that solo.

The third song, Move, is a bit more ''rock-driven'' song but that's because the fact of being led by the electric guitar and not an acoustic like in both previous songs, however that's how far the ''rock-driven'' style goes, the mood and tempo is still pretty gentle. However, that would change in the very half part of the song, with a synth changing the tempo and mood to an alien-like or spacey atmosphere though that's just a bridge to the even more exciting part. This 'exciting' part is settled in what I call the ''9/8 section'', however Robert corrected me and saying that it was in a 13/something, I can't re-tell neither can I count the beats. Let's just call it the ''9/8 section'', well what happens there is a great keyboard solo and then into Robert's always fantastic guitar, this time a bit more agressive in tone and style, yet very, very good. The guitar solo then moves to the soft mood of the begining and ending like it.

Fourth song, An Everlasting Kingdom, is the other favorite of mine, one again the acoustic guitar is prominent. Yes, the peaceful mood is still present and it always will be! It's the magic of this album! To a even more soft and gentle essence, Robert's wife, Tasha, participates on the vocals with a very angelic tone that is definitely essential for this song. As far as how the composition goes, you can split it in four depending on the tempo and mood: the first part being the acoustic reign, with the already mentioned lovely vocals duties by Mrs. Brown. While the second part follows the acoustic dominance, Robert adds some effective though subtle piano, which ends up being a short, though gorgeous, instrumental section. The third part is settled by a proggy time signature led by the drums and some subtle keys, which then will shine in a fantastic spacey way and finally some organ is heard. Finally the fourth part, the melancholic though powerful ending, brings you another well-thought, emotional and energetic guitar solo to appreciate and culminate the song.

The last song, No Shadow of Turning, the 'epic', has had a hard time with me. Surely it must have been Robert's most elaborated piece on the album, hence it's time, and surely where every instrument is at it's peak, full of Squire-esque bass going around, lots of mellotron, more organ than before and even quite heavy guitar riffs! Yes, surely the most Symphonic piece from the entire album as well. However all this might be the factor for me for not enjoying it within the context of the album, since it's by no means bad, but as a whole I don't think it flows that well, a bit forced I dare to say. Definitely a impressive piece for a debut album, yet I find a lot of it to be very unlike the rest of the album, and that produces an unfortunate flaw, however if you take the song apart from the rest of the album, it's actually a very rewarding listen.

As far as the rating goes, it'll get 4 stars, meaning an excellent prog rock addition as well as a very impressive debut album played only by one man and his guitar(and keyboards). Definitely recomended for all those who haven't heard a Prog album delivered sincerely straight from the composer's heart, and soul I must add. This is also recomended for those who think that the Symphonic genre right now is just delivering ''copy-cats'' from the 70's giants.

The Quiet One | 4/5 |


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