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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.