ROTTER’S CLUB (Italian Web Site)

 

[The original Italian-language review, of which this is a translation, may be viewed at http://www.rottersclub.net/musicalbox/h.html]

 

Keyboards to go, references to symphonic music, a big sound, first-rate technique . . . Hermetic Science have all the cards in place to entice those who love the progressive classicism of Emerson, Lake and Palmer.  In this album the opener, “Mars,” the celebrated first movement of Holst’s The Planets, already gives evidence of the quality of the band, guided by the vision and abilities of Ed Macan.  This very capable keyboardist/vibraphonist, in fact, creates considerable tension by attempting to attract both those impassioned with vintage sounds and those who prefer more modern timbres.  After the more than seven minutes of “Mars” comes the very long suite from which the album derives its title, subdivided into seven parts, totaling three quarters of an hour of music.  Macan’s use of his instruments to paint a dramatic and intense atmosphere is virtuosic.  The encounter between progressive rock and classical music produces remarkable fruit, ranging from the imposing sounds of dense synthesizer counterpoint to elegant piano accompaniments, with the Hammond organ playing a not insubstantial role in the arrangement.  The music’s rhythmic construction shows a close attention to detail and contributes notably to the creation of a music that guards, yet transmits, its mysterious fascination.  It appears that Macan was himself inspired by the work of novelist J. K. Huysmans, one of the major exponents of the Decadent movement of the 1890s.  Certainly not at the front line of releases that make originality their strongpoint, but without a doubt Macan, with his project Hermetic Science, proves capable of re-creating an Emersonian progressive rock of good quality, succeeding, unlike many other musicians, in not losing himself in mere technical exhibition and in not reproducing a pale clone of the group of Tarkus, in revealing, therefore, that in reality with symphonic prog merit accrues from being a follower.                          Peppe Di Spirito