02 03 Metal Melancholy: ALBUM REVIEW - Cosmograf - "Capacitor" 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

ALBUM REVIEW - Cosmograf - "Capacitor"


I find that listening to Progressive Rock is very much like reading “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. You never know what the fuck is going on, but you tend to enjoy the wackiness of the narration nonetheless. And that is the beginning and end of any similarity that one Prog- Rock album might bear to another.

So, onto the album in question. Yes, Capacitor is indeed Prog- Rock and yes, it is quite dark and melancholic, and of course you will need strobe lights and an alien mother-ship to complete the experience. But the thing to keep in mind, and this is important, is that Cosmograf is essentially a one- man band. So the production, keyboards, vocals and guitars are done by Robin Armstrong. I mean, what happened the last time YOU played with yourself? Not a Progressive Rock album, that’s for sure.

And what an album!

Robin Armstrong
Now, I grant you that musical taste is subjective and ranges right from “BURN ALL CHURCHES!!!” to “muzik is mah lyf...lulzzz...”. But one art form, within this art form, is relatively untouched by the vagaries of musical preferences, that being production. That said, the production on Capacitor is top- notch. Vast, twisting, soundscapes merge seamlessly, with precise, crisp riffs in an instant and acoustic guitars come into existence from something you never thought could lead to acoustic guitars. The bass guitar is bloody brilliant. It stands out in the mix, which is quite remarkable given everything else that is going on and also the fact that the bass guitar’s tone is not overly sharp/ percussive. Also, musically, it has been used quite extensively, and with amazing effect, as a standalone rhythm instrument and not just a low end for a rhythm guitar.

The leads are focused, intense and yet another prime reminder of the fact that speed is not everything. I did mention earlier that this album is dark. But along with the pervading sense of darkness, there is this restrained aggression throughout the entire record that is set up by the first two songs; “The Spirit Captured” and “The Fear Created”. It then mellows out a bit with two of the more acoustic- oriented “The Reaper’s Song” and “The Drover”, and then comes back with full force in “The Ghost Gets Made”, which, I think, is the heaviest song on offer in the album, has some truly delightful drumming bits and bobs by Nick D’Virgilio (of Spock’s Beard fame) and a relatively faster guitar lead work.

The entire album reeks of talent and high quality through and through, which is not surprising, since it features guest appearances from the crème de la crème of the Prog- Rock world (Nick D’Virgilio  of Big Big Train/Spock's Beard, Colin Edwin of Porcupine Tree, Nick Beggs of Steven Wilson/Steve Hackett, Andy Tillison of The Tangent, Matt Stevens of The Fierce and the Dead, and Steve Dunn of Colourflow/Also Eden). And no, I've actually (mentally) hit a person over the head with a pickle jar about this, they are NOT “Feats”.

Overall, Capacitor is quite engaging to listen to, and there are so many elements to the music that no two times shall ever be the same.


Reviewed By: Sanjeev Kalra

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