[Review] Cosmograf – Mind over depth

Cosmograf is a project by the English multi-instrumentalist Robin Armstrong. Since 2009, 7 albums have been released, the latest of which “Mind over depth” released in April 2019 and available on LP, CD and Digital. Composed of 5 long tracks that talk about how the power of the mind can help overcome our status in life. The album opens with “A million choices,” which begins with a gloomy atmosphere and a spoken and effective voice. Slowly it takes shape with a synth melody on a layer of orchestral keyboards, up to the entrance of the instruments. The guitar offers hard riffs and the rhythm session is solid, therefore the singing starts which lasts up to half of the piece. After a central instrumental pause, the voice returns, alternating the initial dark speech with sung verses, in the instrumental ending the guitar takes the stage. “Goodspeed” begins with calmer tones with vocal and keyboards and a slow rhythm and then changes to 2 minutes. The rhythm and riffs are more powerful while the vocal part, at times with echo effect, could be more incisive. With another change, the atmospheres become darker, with the omnipresence of the vocal, interesting but which leaves no space for instrumental evolution. “The smoke and the flame” is a song that starts with keyboards and strong guitar, then leaves room for the vocal and softer sounds. In the choral parts of the chorus, the intensity slightly increases, and then in the end indulge in a good guitar solo. “Sharks” begins with a dark and heavy sound and then with a quick change go to the calm and gloomy tones that will remain throughout the song. Heavy and other lighter moments alternate with inserts of synths and the continuous changes embellish the track. The vocal adds a sense of gloom to one of the best songs on the album which alternates Neo Prog and Heavy with dynamism. “Goodbye to all illusion” begins with a long intro of synth and spoken voice and an atmospheric guitar, when a heavy and dark track starts at 3 minutes. When it changes again, electronic melodies and drums take over. A short break and then return to the classic terrain of Cosmograf, which in the end returns with the initial synth and closes between sampled voices. An album where the guitar guides the sound giving a heavier touch to the sound, supported by keyboards and dark atmospheres. The voice in some places is too present, not leaving the right space for music. A mixture of Neo Prog with heavier traits, overall an album that does not add anything new, resulting a listening with some interesting ideas.

Tracklist

1. A Million Choices (11:49)
2. Godspeed (9:05)
3. The Smoke and the Flame (6:48)
4. Sharks (8:17)
5. Goodbye to All Illusions (9:30)

Lineup

Robin Armstrong / Vocals, Guitar, bass (3-5), Keyboards, Composer, Production & Mixing

With:
– Colin Edwin / Bass (1,2)
– Kyle Fenton / Drums, Backing Vocals

Cosmograf |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Soundcloud|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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