IO PAGES (Netherlands), December 1999, p. 26
On their first CD the trio was still called Ed Macan's Hermetic Science, but now the name of the man has, significantly, disappeared from the group's name. This in no way means that the rest of the group changes its essential role as accompanist. The drums and percussion are now played by Matt McClimon, while the bass on the first two numbers is handled by Nate Perry. In the remaining tracks the instrument is played by Andy Durham, who is also heard on the first CD. The first track is a reworking of "Jacob's Ladder" by Rush. In the beginning the marimba and vibraphone play a leading part and halfway through there comes a recorder solo, with synthesizer accompaniment. Then the lead role is taken over by the bass, while an ARP string ensemble attends to the accompaniment. After "Intrigue in the House of Panorama" comes the title track of the CD, a suite in six movements that clocks in at an ample 41 minutes. The first part is "Barbarians at the Gate," in which the marimba plays the lead role, with short sections for vibraphone. The recorder predominates in "Hope Against Hope," while the instrument is also heard in "Leviathan and Behemoth." The music of Prophesies is a mix of classical and jazz-rock. "Lament," the fourth part, dons a wholly serious classical approach. The second part of this is dedicated to the legendary Glenn Gould. It will astonish nobody that in this number the piano dominates. In the middle of "State of Grace," the last part of the Prophesies suite, sits a fine piano solo, to which organ, bass, and drums are slowly added. Compared to the band's first CD the music becomes fuller here, with a greater role for keyboard instruments. The inclusion of ARP string ensemble, Micromoog, Hammond organ, not to forget Steinway grand piano will be attractive to "vintage freaks." The recorder passages may be somewhat overabundant, but that in no way minimizes the fact that this is a fantastic CD. The last track is a reworking of Emerson, Lake and Palmer's "Tarkus" in a truly singular guise, for the piece is reduced here to a piano solo. One notices another disturbing factor too, a noisy audience background. What remains, naturally, is my admiration for the work of Ed Macan, for if you could play something similar to this live, then I'll hear you in the gallery of the greats.