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(105:36 2CD, Musea Records)
Prolusion. The French project COSMOS DREAM is the creative vehicle of Charles Roman. The official start of his endeavors as Cosmos Dream commenced in 2008, and later the same year he released his first album under this name, "Hope of Dream". Four years later he signed to the French label Musea Records for the release of the sophomore production "How to Reach Infinity", which was issued through Musea's Parallele imprint.
TRACKLIST: 1. Awakening of the Collective Unconscious 6:09 2. Fear and War-1 2:27 3. Ideological Train 1:22 4. Fear and War-2 4:49 5. Retroactive Nostalgia 4:26 6. The Window of Hope 4:21 7. Eternal Recurrence 5:15 8. Fear and War-3 6:19 9. Homeless 5:25 10. Final Departure 2:58 11. Unconscious of the Collective Awakening 4:45 SOLO PILOT: Charles Roman – vocals; all instruments
Analysis. When listening to the eleven compositions that has been assembled for the first of the two CDs that have been released as "How to Reach Infinity" one specific band and two specific styles stand out as likely influences: Pink Floyd as the band, neo progressive rock and ambient electronic music as the styles. Most often blending traits that can be subscribed to all of these rather than sounding like any singular of them. Plucked guitars cater for the majority of the neo progressive associations as well as some of the Floydian ones. Depending on pace, intensity and the amount of bass guitar interaction this detail can remind of one or the other, but most often at the halfway point between how Pink Floyd utilized this detail in the music they made in the latter half of the 70's and how bands like Marillion utilized details of a similar kind in the early 80's. A small but distinct part of the proceedings. The use of keyboards and synthesizers have more in common with, again, late 70's Pink Floyd, and depending on construction and intensity just as much in common with music that will generally be described as ambient or even cinematic. Cosmos Dream tends to avoid the darker, brooding atmospheres Pink Floyd so frequently explored though, opting for a gentler and somewhat more optimistic overall atmosphere. The tendencies are very much present though, just not quite as menacing. Textured guitar details with a post rock oriented tinge to them further flavor the soundscapes explored by Cosmos Dream, when utilized creating a rather distinct mood when combined with the aforementioned stylistic details and Floydian inspired moods. The latter also given a certain emphasis with longing guitar solo passages not too far removed from David Gilmour's take on such escapades. The songs themselves tend to open as fairly delicate affairs, gradually growing in intensity or developing away from the point of origin. Never in a dramatic manner, and while richly layered constellations with something of a majestic expression are common enough end stages of development they are fairly smooth and mostly lacking in dramatic tendencies – something of a key feature for this album in general. This is well made music from start to finish too. Charles Roman appears to be very well aware of what he's trying to create and the manner in which he wants to create it. There's nothing here that comes across as accidental or inspired by the spur of the moment. The one major weakness is Roman's lead vocals, but in this department he has managed to go about the problem in an elegant manner, seeing to it that the vocals are as unobtrusive as possible, and generally avoiding creating passages that have the need of strong lead vocals to carry them.
TRACKLIST: 1. And If 2:19 2. Never Back 7:42 3. Away 6:14 4. Beyond Eris 8:21 5. I Can See Andromeda 4:23 6. Orion Arm 8:12 7. The Pillars of Creation-1 3:17 8. The Pillars of Creation-2 7:45 9. The Pillars of Creation-3 6:11 10. Inside My Little World 2:56
Analysis. Part II of this album opens in a fairly similar manner to where the first part ended. Following a calm, ambient prolog Cosmic Dream ventures forth into landscapes with a distinct Pink Floyd vibe to them. With a fairly smooth and elegant variety of music that reflects back to the sound this highly popular band explored towards the end of the 70's, lighlty flavoured with nervous, textured instrument details that add a certain post rock flavour to the proceedings. Third track Away and the following Beyond Eris herald a shift in style however, as indicated by the name of those compositions, and the remaining pieces head out to rather different territories altogether. From I Can See Andromeda and throughout the three part The Pillars of Creation cycle Cosmos Dream explores a brand of music that is of a very different nature altogether. Slow moving, careful electronic constructions, where surging keyboard textures and fluctuating backdrops are supplemented by nervous, sparkling sounds and arrangements that merit descriptions as both ambient and cinematic. Set up in a manner that inspires thoughts about deep space, cosmos and galaxies, with a certain cold chill as a key atmospheric feature. Music of the kind that invites references to the likes of Vangelis and, occasionally, Angelo Badalamenti's soundtrack for the TV-series Twin Peaks. Compositions that inspire the mind to contemplation and inner journeys, filled with a certain melancholic longing. Inside My Little World concludes this double album in a fitting manner, transporting us back to earth again by way of a careful piano motif that is added to the gradually fading ambient construction carried on from The Pillars of Creation cycle.
Conclusion. Charles Roman's Cosmos Dream project is one that should appeal to a fairly broad audience. The main influence for the majority of this double album appears to be later day Pink Floyd, and in this case a take on that sound revolving around a more ambient and cinematic based exploration of it, and combining that with ambient cosmic music and revolving the final third or so around that latter style a choice that will earn him some fans I assume. A production to be recommended to those who enjoy late Pink Floyd just as much as they enjoy artists like Vangelis.
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