The Cosmologist is Alan Azar’s second album, released in September 2011. This rising musician has been known in the Lebanese music scene as the epitome of talent and emotional expression through his music. Unlike his first album,Defective Harmony, this second release is based on a specific theme. The idea is for the listener to be taken on a mind-blowing voyage in space through staggeringly written melodies. This ten track album is a perfect blend of Rock and Metal, Progressive riffs and melodious tunes, with exquisite technique.
“10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…”, and it begins. A journey into outer space!
Into Space, the first of the ten tracks, is a fine mix of Progressive guitar riffs and a nice combination of beats and tunes. With this well arranged and well-structured song, listeners will totally catch the vibe of the entire album and the core idea which it is based upon.
The second track, Red Shifted Area, starts out with some keys, and then moves into a guitar-laden track. This song spins the listener into vertigo as the music brings about a sense of losing control of one’s surroundings. It’s definitely worth the listen!
Cosmic Dream, the third track, is a slower, calmer piece that soothes the mind and brings it back to a certain peace after the ascent into space. The tune has a soft Rock vibe and certainly shows off the spectrum of talent Alan Azar possesses.
The fourth track, Sagittarius, is also a softer track, but with an Oriental twist to it. The “derbaké” keeps the rhythm, with Alan’s guitar taking the spotlight as usual. As the song comes to an end, the music fades away and you’re left with a weird kind of peace. Then, Saraswati River, the fifth track off The Cosmologist, slightly heightens the rhythm. Intricate drum beats combined with the integration of guitar riffs and keyboard sound effects brings the track together very nicely.
The Cosmologist, the sixth track, is the title track and is one of the only songs on the album which include vocals. The vocals are courtesy of Brannon McKay, from the American band 3am Highway. “In time, you’re in a hearse in some town, this town it’s just a circle on a globe, this globe it’s just a circle in the cosmos, the cosmos it’s just a circle in time.” These lyrics depict the human-state in which we all live.
Also including vocals, the seventh track, A Glimpse of Reality, shows off Lebanese vocalist, Sami Gabriel’s praise-worthy voice along with the extent of Alan Azar’s musical diversity. This song starts out with some heavier guitar riffs, alternating between different techniques and musical styles, yet still keeping a great balance. Towards the middle of the track, the melody slows down to give way to Sami’s vocal part. As the vocals fade out, the song picks up pace again, and continues until the very end of the 9 minute track with heavy riffs and heart-wrenching beats.
Like the third and fourth tracks, track 8, The Dancing Snowflake, is slow and easy on the ear, calming the mind and soothing the ear.
Sea of Tranquility, track 9, starts out with a kind of electronic feel. The perfect blend of keyboard effects, long drawn out guitar notes, and string bending shows a different side of the album. This wonderful musician’s endless range of talent is astonishing!
Last, but certainly not least, the final track, True Inspiration II, feels like the return to safe grounds. With a soothing intro, the song begins. Slowly, the pace increases with some keys and the guitar, and, later on, still increasing in tempo, some heavy riffs and rhythms added to the mélange.
After listening to these tracks, you will truly feel like you’ve taken a long and adventure-filled journey through the cosmos while delighting in this musician’s pure and raw talent.
Lebanon’s music scene has been discovered around the world thanks to musical characters as Alan Azar and many others. The talent shown in this album, The Cosmologist, is something to take pride in and spread the word about.