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Gnomonaut - The Chronocosm CD (album) cover

THE CHRONOCOSM

Gnomonaut

 

Heavy Prog

3.69 | 14 ratings

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memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars They are Gnomonaut!

It is always a pleasure to review albums from new bands, acts that want to add their grain of sand to the already enormous progressive rock scene, and they are always welcome. Gnomonaut is a band from USA (based in Atlanta) that is entering to the realm with the release of their debut album entitled "The Chronocosm". It comprises nine songs, seven original ones and two covers, which all together make a 58-minute album.

Progressive rock is a wide genre, which can also be divided in several sub-genres. The music of Gnomonaut has a great mixture of some of them, including the evident space-rock sound, eclectic prog and in moments some experimental prog. Important to say that they are an instrumental band, so fasten your seat-belts and prepare to this journey.

The album kicks off with "Bekajamir", a seven-minute track that perfectly works as an introductory song, I mean, here we can appreciate what Gnomonaut's sound is about: great guitars, cool drums and spacey synthesizers all over the song. It reminds me of Ozric Tentacles and Hidria Spacefolk. In the second track entitled "Celestial Dirt Nap" we can now figure out that King Crimson may have been one of their biggest influences, no matter the space-rock oriented tracks, we can listen to that eclectic KC sound here. Besides the great guitar work, worth mentioning is that they added some winds, such as trumpet and saxophone, so it is an additional spice to the already delicious music.

"Shipwrecked" has that spacey sound, linked to what we would call progressive electronic, this time reminding me a bit of Tangerine Dream. The track is a bit long and a two-nail weapon, because you can either feel bored after some minutes, or feel hypnotized; I choose the latter. This track has some spoken word at the last two minutes. "ManBearPig" has a rockier feeling, a faster and more aggressive introduction that suddenly slows down and creates a weird atmosphere, but seconds later it restarts and the structure is being built until it completely arises. The guitar sound is wonderful, skillful and pleasant, great bass lines, drums are always constant making the rhythm, and keyboards adding its exquisite textures. Just before the fourth minute there is a guitar solo, which one can easily enjoy.

"Beard Mudding" shows once again their Crimsonian sound (important to say that they are not a rip-off band, not at all) which is a pleasure to my ears. Both, the lead and the rhythm guitars are always fantastic, creating a wonderful language and interplaying with the other instruments. "Gnomonaut" (the track) sounds actually as the continuation of the previous song. Here we can fully appreciate the musicians' skills and technique, I particularly love the bass sound in this track, I believe it stands from the other ones, no matter the great guitar solos that came after minute four.

"The Chronocosm" is the longest track here, a nine-minute epic that sums up Gnomonaut's ambitions. It starts with a clockwise sound which little by little runs faster, while a chaotic atmosphere is created by keyboards. This continues for a minute until it explodes, guitars, bass and drums appear and a brand new track is being elaborated. For moments Rush came to my head, in special some 2112 or Hemispheres passages. After four minutes a nice guitar solo appears and takes us to another dimension. I love the tranquility shared in some moments, it is peaceful; but what I like more is how they managed to change the mood without harming the music, because after that tranquility we are led to a tense ambient. The last minute is a weird electronic sound.

With that song, we may say that the album and the Gnomonaut's original compositions end. But the album itself continues with a couple of covers: King Crimson's "Red" and Black Sabbath's "The Wizard", both are well performed, but I prefer the latter due to the exquisite addition of wind instruments. OK, with these two songs The Chronocosm is finished. A great debut by this US band that may please fans of space rock and eclectic prog. My finalgrade will be four stars!

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |

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