Ewigkeit – Cosmic Man (Svart)

Thursday, 29th June 2017
Rating: 8/10

Before he helped bring classic avant-garde Norwegian outfit …in the Woods back from the dead, James Fogarty devoted his attention to Ewigkeit, his one-man experimental metal outfit. One can recall seeing Earache Records handle a couple of the band’s mid-’00s releases to varying degrees of success, only for Fogarty to put Ewigkeit on ice in 2007 before resurrecting it in 2012. Fogarty (who also goes by the “Mr. Fog” name) is certainly not devoid in the creativity department, laying out a healthy, ’70s-inspired dose of neo-prog capped off by his now-identifiable clean vocals, thus turning Cosmic Man into a celestial, enigmatic listen.

There is an understated pure metal element to Cosmic Man that Fogarty appears willing to exploit to the fullest. His riffs are seemingly culled from the giant NWOBHM vat, with harmonies-a-flowing, compounded by heavy Hammond organ use (more on that in a moment). When the vintage melodies get moving, like on “Cold Souls” or the instrumental “Cold Patrol,” they’re virtually transferrable into the “cosmic” dimension so defined by the album’s artwork and aura.

However, the combination of Fogarty’s effortless clean vocals and Hammond organ is what ultimately spins the dial here. Look no further than the pounding “Neon Ghoul Ride,” a veritable trip through Jon Lord’s favorite patterns, shuttled through the lens of warped metal. It’s accentuated to a lesser degree on the quirky “Time Traveling Medicine Man” and cover of Iron Maiden’s “Two Minutes to Midnight,” which is handled admirably, mind you.

A cavalcade of wayward sonics and sharp ideas, Cosmic Man is perhaps the first Ewigkeit album in quite some time to have this kind of impact. It’s an isolated, humming trip through the corridors of outer space, the wily creation of Fogarty, a man whose track record is looking better by the day.

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