Welcome to Day 15 of my Album Of The Year 2021 Top 30 Countdown series. That means that I am now halfway through this year’s list. Thank you to you all for following, reading, commenting, and liking my posts in this series; were it not for the interaction that I receive, I may be tempted to give up.
Nah, I’m only joking because I’d never give up doing this. It’s too much fun to be honest, allowing me a good opportunity to listen to great music, and provide one last spotlight opportunity to bands and artists that deserve the exposure. I hope you’ll stick with me for the second half too.
If you are familiar with this series, then please forgive the usual reminder to those who are new, to check out the links at the bottom of the post to find out who made the cut, from 30 down to 17, as well as my lists from previous years too.
And now, on with the show…
Release Date: 19 November 2021
The Score Of Much Metal: 94%
Every year, I am given a headache at the eleventh hour. I think that I have my Top 30 list all sorted and gift-wrapped, only for something to come along to change everything. This year, my headache was delivered by the instrumental trio by the name of Navian. It has meant that I have had to make a really difficult choice and so there is going to be one notable absentee from my list this year. But these guys deserve it and need the exposure more, that’s for sure.
Very few albums this year have made me really smile. But ‘Cosmos’ definitely has. The music on this record is incredibly complex, but at no point do I switch off or feel like it is a cynical attempt to show off; each composition is a song in its own right and they are so effervescent, catchy, and downright fun too.
Littered with earworms, I cannot just dip in and out of ‘Cosmos’. Once I start listening, I have to keep going until the end. Not through any reason other than it instantly hooks me in, and instantly improves my mood, however I’m feeling. It is always nice when a band deliver the album that you hoped they might. But it’s even nicer when your expectations are obliterated by something so wonderful that it makes your heart sing. No doubt, with even more time, this record may have ended up even higher on my list.
What I wrote at the time:
“I had high hopes for this album based on the EP, but I can safely say that those expectations have been greatly exceeded by ‘Cosmos’.
My quote used in the press release states that their EP demonstrates a “freshness and a bounce that is entirely infectious.” I stand by that quote, and would absolutely apply it to ‘Cosmos’ as well. In fact, the quote is probably not forceful enough to be used for this album, because it is the kind of music that radiates utter joy, happiness, and so much fun.
Technically adept and tight as anything, the three musicians make everything sound so effortless, smooth, and beautifully dynamic. Bursts of heavy riffs assault the ears one second, before a delicate atmospheric passage takes over. Then a scatty, bouncy section will lead into a gloriously uplifting melody, something to carry me away from the humdrum world around me.
Progressive, nuanced, occasionally eccentric, but always playful, inviting, and richly melodic, I have been blown away by ‘Cosmos’. Navian have effortlessly shattered any preconceptions that I or others may have had that instrumental music delivers an inferior listening experience…Navian are a breath of fresh air, air that I would happily breathe whenever the opportunity arose.”
Read the full review here.
The list this year so far…
Also, if you’ve missed my lists from previous years, you can check them out here: