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Thank You Scientist - Stranger Heads Prevail CD (album) cover

STRANGER HEADS PREVAIL

Thank You Scientist

 

Crossover Prog

4.07 | 149 ratings

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memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Review originally published in www.therocktologist.com

What an amazing band!

While the years of this decade have passed, Thank You Scientist has developed a wonderful, unique sound that shows a truly interesting crossover of prog rock, metal and jazz that now has landed in their second studio album entitled Stranger Heads Prevail, which shows a step forward from their previous releases. This album was one of my 2016 favorites, it hit me since the first listen, I still remember I was blown away saying things like "holy sh*t" or "wow, this is so good", expression I still use while listening to it by the way.

Eleven tracks are here, making a total time of 67 minutes of solid music that will make you have a great time. It opens with ""Prologue: A Faint Applause", a two-minute song that works of course as the introduction to what the album will be about. The vocals are acute and sweet, while the music has a circus-like feeling. It leads to "The Somnambulist" which shows much more energy since the very first seconds, that blend of genres I previously mentioned can be appreciated here, I love that metal spirit made by guitars, bass and drums, wonderfully complemented by a brass section and a subtle violin that appears here and there. Of course, Marrano's voice plays a main role during the whole album, being a crucial element of Thank You Scientist's sound.

Maybe, just to point out as reference, the sound might remind you of Coheed and Cambria and A.C.T., the main difference is that magnificent use of sax, trumpet and violin that we can appreciate and love in "Caverns". This great track could fit in the heavy prog label, with that inherent jazzy sound. In the final part there is a killer guitar solo. "Mr. Invisible" was the first track I listened from the album, and I must say it still is my favorite. What a song, my gosh! The jazz feeling is simply delicious, I love how in spite the challenging composition, the music could be catchy and easy to dig. I love its changes, the soft parts and then when it becomes heavier; I love the instrumental passages and the ones with vocals, I love how the musicians understand each other perfectly and share their talent with us.

"A Wolf in Cheap Clothing" starts slow, after the previous vertiginous track, this seems to share a moment of tranquility, just before its explosion that arrives a few seconds before minute two, so then Thank You Scientist once again offers a wonderful blend of jazz-prog-metal that no ears should let escape. "Blue Automatic" offers endless figures made by guitars, bass and violin, the guys are amazing musicians with so much technique. With some other bands/albums I sometimes have an issue with the Djent-ly sound and with those samples of virtuosity that lack of emotion, with Thank You Scientist that feeling has never appeared in my mind, on the other hand, these guys make me feel much interest in keeping my ears listening to every single minute.

"Need More Input" is a killer! Man, the contrast of their passages, how first it is laid-back and then explosive and exciting, later soft and expectant, and later more powerful and with infinite notes played that create so many textures and nuances. There is a great instrumental passage with a mid-eastern feeling and then one with a balkan-feeling, amazing. This is another favorite of mine, without a doubt. There are no weak tracks in this album, fortunately, so you will be positively surprised with all the songs That surprise came to me with "Rube Goldberg Variations" due to its delicate sound that create exquisite jazzy nuances when trumpet, sax and violin take the leadership. They even dared to create a Latin-jazz passage, so we can reaffirm how talented they are. This is the only instrumental track off the album, by the way.

"Psychopomp" has also that mid-eastern sound combined with a gypsy feeling. The song develops different structures and as usual, countless colors, textures and changes. The song's length is over nine minutes, but they pass so fast with a blink of an eye, which means it has naturally grew on me. "The Amateur Arsonist's Handbook" is the last lengthy track of the record, and in the end it sums up what their sound is about. "Epilogue: And the Clever Depart" brings the last minute of the album, a soft goodbye track.

Listening to this album is a great experience, but now I am truly excited because I will see Thank You Scientist on stage next Progtoberfest at Chicago, and am sure it will be an unforgettable experience. Please, do yourself a favor and listen to them.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 5/5 |

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