Cosmic Nomads: Millennium
Whereas “Vultress” was all about the rock, “Millennium” is a tribute to the classics. Ray Vanderby and crew have taken themes by Bach, Grieg, and Debussy, and given them a Cosmic Nomads makeover. Much like their first album, this has a bit of heavier feel than “Vultress,” but it is every bit as fun. I never thought I would find myself rocking out to Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor,” but this version does just that. Now, it’s not just a straight reworking. They blend the classical tunes into their own original compositions. This is the case on “Trolltog” and “The Engulfed Forest” as well.
The bulk of “Millennium” is original material, but the classical themes pop up, and a good part of the album holds the classical influence. Most of all, it rocks. Even in the more serious moments, the musicianship is masterful. “Global Heat” is a metal guitar and keyboard extravaganza that would make Keith Emerson jealous. They also hold on to that cosmic vibe. “Obey the Universe” is right out of the hippie rock playbook. “Where the Lions Weep” is that Purple/Atomic/Quatermass style that I so enjoyed before. They even provide a great heavy rock ballad with “Road to Heaven.”
I am glad Cosmic Nomads decided not to rest on previous success. They took a different tack, but remained true to their sound. “Vultress” was fun with old style Hammond rock. This is too, except this time it’s Hammond rock fun with the classics. It may not be as whimsical, but there is no drop in level of enjoyment. I think the band has improved as well. Not that they weren’t good before, but the playing on “Millennium” is simply outstanding. This album brings Cosmic Nomads out of great novelty territory, into the realm of respected prog act.
Ray Vanderby – Hammond C3, keyboards, vocals
King Con Patogiannis – guitars, vocals
Prof Kon Zizzis – guitar, vocals
Mark Kearney – bass, effects
Gordon Graham – drums, percussion