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Dave Greenslade - The Pentateuch Of The Cosmogony CD (album) cover

THE PENTATEUCH OF THE COSMOGONY

Dave Greenslade

 

Crossover Prog

2.40 | 47 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Full marks for presentation

Although this album is listed here under Dave Greenslade it is in fact credited to PATRICK WOODROFFE and DAVE GREENSLADE. Woodroffe is a writer/artist, and thus does not actually play a note on the album. "The Pentateuch of the Cosmogony" is in reality Dave Greenslade's second solo album.

Greenslade of course found a measure of fame with Colosseum, and subsequently with his eponymous band, although the latter never really made it. Once Greenslade (the band) had run its course and disbanded, Dave Greenslade decided to peruse a solo career. "The Penteteuch Of The Cosmogony" (don't ask me how to pronounce that!) finds him trading in his pianos and organs (he does however borrow a church organ!) for an impressive array of synthesisers, and some tubular bells.

The album is a concept one, based on a fantasy tale by Woodroffe originally published in book form but repeated in the bulging booklet which accompanies this album. Woodroffe also created the many wonderful illustrations which appear therein. The story is set towards the end of the 24th century. By this time, man's efforts (which as we know are clearly well underway) to destroy his home planet have finally succeeded, and the race has dispersed to other planets of the solar system, the "Ten worlds".

In the story, the "Penteteuch Of The Cosmogony" are 5 books of ancient scripture, describing the creation and destruction of the "home planet", i.e. Earth. The story goes on at some length, indeed in almost scientific proportions, to describe how difficult it is to communicate using languages, and this how the books are written using the universal language of signs.

As for the music itself, the sound here is somewhat different to the prog rock of Greenslade, the album consisting of 21 short tracks which link together to form a whole. Apart from the appearance of Phil Collins playing percussion on 6 of the tracks, John Linwood doing likewise on a further two, and Kate Greenslade (then aged 2) providing child vocals on "Nursery Hymn", everything you hear is performed by Dave Greenslade.

Unfortunately, despite the wonderful concept and presentation, the actual music is something of a disappointment. There are similarities with the work of Jean Michel Jarre, and Vangelis, even perhaps some of Rick Wakeman's truly solo albums, but the closest reference is probably Tomita. The problem is that the whole thing rapidly becomes dull and laborious. The absence of singing, apart from the very occasional processed vocals, or indeed much in the way of variation in the sound or pace makes it a real challenge to stay interested after just a couple of tracks.

The melodies are pleasant but uninspired, lapsing from the ambient to the monotonous. I have seen it suggested that the album is more enjoyable if heard in conjunction with reading the book. Since it is not actually feasible to co-ordinate the tracks on the album with browsing the chapters of the book in real time, it would appear that reading the book merely provides a distraction from the shortcomings of the music.

A wonderfully lavish package, with a superb concept and plenty of promise, let down by a lack of inspiration where it really matters, in the music.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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