Robin Armstrong has released his fifth album called The Unreasonable Silence. Yet again it is a concept album about the human condition. This time the theme is alien abduction or more subjectively, the minds way of dealing with such a possibility. He takes the Albert Camus story of Sysiphus's punishment of rolling a stone up the hill only for it to return to the bottom and for him to start again representing mankind's struggle to understand the universe and our role in it. Our main character, John, disappears from society basically committing social suicide.
Once again Robin uses a liberal dose of sound bites and atmospherics to create tension throughout the story telling. Used carelessly these could be annoying during future listens but not in this case as they really build the story to a stunning climax.
As per all of Robin's albums, the music is well written and well produced. Although it is a prog album there are elements of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. Drums are provided by Nick D'Virgilio ( Big Big Train ) and bass is shared between Nick Beggs (Mute Gods) and Dave Meros (Spock's Beard). Rachel Hawat provides backing vocals that wouldn't be out of place on a Pink Floyd Album.
This is a very strong release and one of my top ten favorites from 2016.
**** Dave Smith
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