Cosmograf is project by multi-instrumentalist Robin Armstrong, who did all the instruments and vocals on the End Of Ecclesia. This is the second album under the Cosmograf moniker. Special guest on the album is Steve Dunn of Also Eden, who provided guitars and bass on “The Dark That Follows The Light“ (9:24). Steve also co-wrote the song.
End of Ecclesia is a loose concept album, with the lyrics based on the struggle between science and religion. Opening up the album is “Sins Of The Father” (4:55), a heavy sounding rock song with some piano and synths backing it. It reminds me of some of the early progressive rock or as it’s known, proto-prog. During the softer parts, it reminds me of Procol Harum.
Now we have the ‘epic‘ of the album entitled “Who Will You Serve” (9:50). This is a symphonic prog song, and closest to the Neo-prog genre without completely crossing over.
This is followed by “Evolution Railroad” (7:00), a heavy classic rock song which reminds me of Deep Purple and Uriah Heep. More of the latter. There are some spoken word about halfway through but doesn’t take away from the song.
“Return to the Sea -Part.1 (Pastime with Good Company)” (3:01) has a Celtic vibe and segues right into “Return to the Sea -Part.2 (Forget the Earth)” (7:25) which starts off with a classical style piano then slowly becomes a beautifully sounding ballad. The guitar solo is just sublime that reminds me of what Steve Hackett’s work.
“A Day On The Moon” (3:58) starts off with an acoustic guitar with morse code in the background. This is a ballad of sorts with a pop/prog atmosphere. Robin’s vocals has a rather unique voice because he doesn’t sound like anyone today or of yesteryear. This contains another beautiful guitar solo.
“La Iglesia” (6:26) is an instrumental that starts off and ends with some tasty acoustic guitars. The electric guitar duets with the acoustic one and half-way through, it builds up into a monster track.
“Flowers In My Hair” (4:53) is a psychedelic pop based song, which segues nicely into a lovely acoustic piece called “Ministry Of Failure” (4:19).
“The Dark That Follows The Light” (9:24) ends off the album in ‘epic’ style. As mentioned above, this features Steve Dunn of Also Eden. It has heavy guitar parts throughout over a symphonic background.
This was a surprise release for me. I wasn’t familiar with Cosmograf except for the periodic mentions on Facebook. I acquired End Of Ecclesia through a good friend of mine, and I thought I should review it since I haven’t seen much press for it. I would classify this as a raw recording that may or may not be a downfall especially in the overly polished recordings out there. I actually found that the raw feel of this album was a nice alternative to the slick production value of most modern recording. This may or may not be something most people will enjoy, so I suggest checking out the samples on the Cosmograf YouTube Page.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on December 20th, 2010