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Epignosis - Still The Waters CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.32 | 60 ratings

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4 stars I admit to a soft spot for progressive music. Without the budget for glitz and glamour, and with the technical restrictions that come from playing 7 instruments and being proficient at 2, EPIGNOSIS has initiated a smoldering labor of love on his debut release. My first reaction was reactionary, as his nonchalant vocal style and direct Christian themes both dampened my enthusiasm. Patience does not come easily to a prog fan in search of the next buzz, but ultimately, after many listens, I became, if not wholeheartedly converted, at least richly heartened.

This is generally a laid back work, perhaps necessitated by Robert Brown's vocal limitations, perhaps by his desire to focus on a more mellow symphonic approach that is less common among the giants of the genre, with sumptuous string synthesizers and acoustic guitars forming much of the backing. It gives even the weaker and slower tracks like "A Pearl in A Field", an RPI sort of sheen, akin to HOSTSONATEN. Elsewhere, the conversely strong "Move" reflects NEKTAR in its mellower moments. Everywhere are the ghosts of CAMEL and FLOYD, even RENAISSANCE and YES, but EPIGNOSIS will not be pegged down, more recalling the elegant work of DAVID SYLVIAN or MOONGARDEN.

The album's strongest piece is the 20 minute closer "No Shadow of Turning", as it best blends and showcases Brown's songwriting talents and weaves in powerful bass-bolstered vocal passages. By now, after a dozen listens, I found myself quite under a delicate yet persuasive spell. But the life of a reviewer being what it is, I really have to move on to other music, so I will stop this critique short by encouraging you to give this more than a chance. Its gentle and artful earnestness will eventually win over even the most musically agnostic. 3.5 stars, rounded up at least for now.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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