So…I’m not a man of few words, but this will be one of my shorter reviews EVER. Why you ask? The reason is I don’t have a lot to say about this release at all. If ‘MEH’ had a soundtrack, this would be it. It’s long, TOO LONG.
Before I launch into the problems, let’s throw some sun at this piece. James Fogarty is a very talented musician. The guy has produced dozens of albums, mostly by himself, so there needs to be credit given for that. Also, the MAIN problem with this album is monotony. I can only hear the same variation on a riff so many times before I get bored, and I’m a Prog Rock guy. I don’t know if this repetitious variation on a theme was intentional or not, but either way, it doesn’t work here.
Now, more specifically I will say this, these songs are not inherently bad. There are a lot of good moments on the record, and that’s why this release gets 2 axes instead of zero. I find myself being in love with the organ lately, and it’s prominently displayed throughout this album, and some of the vocal stuff is solid. The early screams on the second track “Cold Souls,” and some of the harmonies throughout are encouraging, but they never really go anywhere.
There was actually quite a humorous moment with the screams in “Cold Souls” which I didn’t realize was funny until the end of the reign of monotonous riffs I was forced to endure. There’s a line in the middle of the first of many droning riffs that went on way too long where James Fogarty vocalizes the words “STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING!!!” in a scream during a second of silence. After the second listening, this phrases made me laugh so hard, that I put it on a loop. So to really paint this picture, this song, which has already bludgeoned me for 3 and a half minutes with the same riff that appears to be going nowhere, comes to a halt, and I hear “STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING!!” and then what happens? THE SAME RIFF AGAIN for a few more minutes. I’m sorry, maybe it’s funnier to me than most, but my 16-year-old son found it hilarious too.
When it’s all said and done, this release is not terrible, and it’s not great, it’s just somewhere between. There are a fair amount of good moments like the atmospheric piano in “Back to Beyond,” “Neon Ghoul Ride” as a whole is probably the best tune on the album, and there is literally a 40 second riff in “Death is a Portal” that is killer, BUT that’s where it ends. There are no really terrible moments, with the exception of the final track, which is a cover of the Iron Maiden classic 2 Minutes to Midnight. Now I’ll give credit for having the balls to attempt this, but that’s where it ends. James Fogarty does not have the voice to pull off Dickinson in his prime, and there wasn’t any attempt to make this his own with the exception of his use of the organ, which was ok.
In general if every song was shortened, and the vocals were slightly more dynamic, this project has potential, but Cosmic Man misses the mark.
Bloodrock Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 axes
Written by Chris Elio for Bloodrock Media on 6/7/2017