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Cosmograf - When Age Has Done Its Duty CD (album) cover





3.76 | 188 ratings

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Distant Planet
5 stars Cosmograf is a progressive rock project led by talented, UK based multi-instrumentalist Robin Armstrong. 'When Age Has Done Its Duty' is Cosmograf's third album release since 2008 and sees the band signed to F2 Records, a move which will hopefully increase publicity and heighten the band's profile. Whilst the music here is refreshingly original it will doubtless appeal to fans of Pink Floyd, Genesis and Porcupine Tree as well as all aficionados of classic rock. This is a concept album that centres around the themes of ageing and personal experiences whilst growing up. Amongst others, members of It Bites, Also Eden and The Tangent guest on the album. 'Into This World' opens proceedings in a menacing manner. Acoustic piano lines meander around you unsettlingly until raw, digitally delayed guitar power chords stutter and poke at you. 'Born in a world, where it's great to be young' Robin crows in a restrained but angst- ridden voice as a powerful chorus raises the ante (I'm the wrong side of 40, so I know what Robin means !!). Robin later treats us to a wicked guitar solo that matches the attitude of his vocals and screams with the anguish of a banshee. Clocking in at eleven minutes, this track is one of several epics on the album. The music progresses in a more pastoral manner on 'Blacksmith's Hammer', where the rich acoustic guitars match the imagery of the lyrics: 'He worked in a forge at the end of the field'. The third track, 'On Which We Stand' sees melody brought strongly to the fore, as intricate musical lines weave together evoking early Genesis and ethnical British themes. The aspirational harmonies of this piece yield to a melancholic and haunting organ passage. This slowly builds into an anthemic climax complete with an ultra expressive Gilmour-esque guitar solo that sends shivers down your spine..... The value of friends can never be under stated and on the next two tracks Robin's guests prove their faith in this project by virtue of their inspired contributions. Luke Machin of The Tangent offers a 'state of the art' guitar solo on 'Bakelite Switch' which Robin replies to perfectly with swirling Hammond organ riffs. A nostalgic glimpse at 70's family life, this track rocks seriously in places and proceeds with a real sense of urgency. Just when you thought Luke's solo was the song's peak, Robin's countdown at the end provides a further incredible sense of excitement and crescendo. Meanwhile on 'Memory Lost' Huw LLoyd-Jones' guest vocals bleed and ache with a passion and yearning that you can genuinely feel flowing through the air. The music here is beautifully laid back. The title track starts with a three minute narrated poem, which isn't my favourite moment of the album, whilst the remaining ten minutes of this piece evoke a Floydian epic, climaxing with a rousing guitar solo. 'White Light Awaits' features keyboards 'a la Vangelis' and the welcome return of some heavy guitar based themes used in the opening track. 'Dog On The Clee' closes the album. Here an ethereal melody and atmosphere, created with acoustic guitars and angelically flavoured vocals, provides an emotional epitaph to the earlier themes of the album. Production on the album is well balanced, unlike many recent releases there is nothing over blown here. Also worthy of mention is the stalwart work of Bob Dalton who provides drums for the first six tracks. For me this is a strong contender for album of the year and will surely be hailed as a classic in the future. If you like prog or classic rock buy it without hesitation.
Distant Planet | 5/5 |


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