WONDROUS STORIES (U.K.) no. 120 (January 2002), p. 39
California-based instrumental group Hermetic Science are the brainchild of keyboard player/multi-instrumentalist Ed Macan, with guitarist Jason Hoopes and featuring two drummers (Matt McClimon and Joe Nagy) and if you imagine as a starting point ELP’s classical fusion without any of the bombast and pomposity then you’re almost there but not quite.
Opening with a truly progressive (in the dictionary meaning of the word) interpretation of “Mars the Bringer of War” (from Holst’s Planets, the first concept album??) which is keyboard heavy and gothic enough, it leads onto the En Route suite (all 44 minutes worth), broken down into seven sections, which is inspired by the writings of J.K. Huysmans (1848-1907) as explained in Ed’s intelligent sleevnotes.
Entirely instrumental, I wouldn’t call this album relaxing, but what it is is an example of excellent and intelligent musical performances, by an artist who knows the genre they are working in, and who knows how to get the most from the performers and the material; this in fact could almost be a piece of contemporary classical music working incredibly well on this album. As a performer and writer Ed Macan is excellent, and I’m very surprised that with music of this standard and quality that I hadn’t heard of them before.
If you like intelligent, well-written keyboard music then buy this CD. James R. Turner