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Rocket Scientists - Oblivion Days CD (album) cover

OBLIVION DAYS

Rocket Scientists

 

Symphonic Prog

3.98 | 62 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
4 stars Rocket Scientists' "Oblivion Days" laid for a long time in the laboratory, on the desk near the test tubes, waiting to catch my attention once again, this time for a review that may win my fancy. Okay, you seduced me with keyboardist Erik Norlander's presence in the Roswell 6 configuration and I am ready to turn back the clock, you flirty vibe, you. After a bombastic synth fanfare introduction, the razor sharp "Aqua Vitae" marches through the now open door and head straight for the jugular with a visceral bass exercise, ricochet- ing drum patterns and wet synth solos. Oh yeah and heavy crunching guitars !!!! The vocals are emotionally effective especially on the deafening chorus while the soloists really cut loose with unabashed fury. Yes, I like it rough from time to time (not such a mushy romantic after all!) especially when replete with various contrasts (like on the breezy Beatlesy mid-section drenched in 70s psychedelia) that constantly keeps you unaware of the next twist and turn. The finale is even stormier than before, hard and fast. Wow! Rush's "Tom Sawyer" for a few secs and then the marshalling goose step slams into the title track's raw disposition with little frill, closer to Rainbow and Ayreon than anything else out there. No surprise that Arjen Lucassen is featured guest all over the tracks .Great melody, utter pomposity, even grandiose at times with a rather bleak subject matter (not hard to guess either!), all this crap about Armageddon, 2012, December 21 and it's over babe! Hey guess what? Doomsday was the second favorite subject 10.000 years ago and ever since (first is love), so let's be clear: it will never end, regardless what Jim Morrison said aloud. Fabulous tune. "Archimedes" is an ancient Greek history icon, so typically a source for Prog , sounding like a rougher, harsher Alan Parsons Project gone haywire with all kinds of spurts and dashes. Not as good as the previous trio. "Banquo's Ghost" is an amazing and refreshing gallop that is pure ear candy, close to recent RPWL or early Porcupine Tree, absolute prime vocals and applied spotlight solos by all. "Space 1999" is exactly that , a romping cosmic adventure that rehashes a recognizable theme from a sci-fi TV show and rearrange it sympho-prog style , with lush orchestrations (real and synthesized). Amazing and fun stuff! Then we have the epic just in case someone may forget that they are definitely prog and not the Ramones! "Escape" is a fiery effort with all kinds of scenic sounds from marimba-like intonations, space whispers and hearty grooves from keyboardist Norlander and some inspired guitar phrasings from Mark McCrite and Lucassen, burning solos and battleaxe riffs combining in the arena. Fascinating! "Compass Variation" is again aptly titled, as it veers into a glossier expanse, sweet elegant leads, jangling rhythms and pleading vocals. Very nice indeed. The axe solo is superbly bluesy and heartfelt while the brooding Hammond growls in apparent despair. "Breaking the Silence" is a methodical bulldozer from the outset that fails not to appeal and the disc closes with another lengthy instrumental, a close cousin of the opening theme. Two live bonus tracks are included, showcasing the raw live in concert sound. A very good heavy prog case study that warrants your attention, lab rats. 4 LED lights
tszirmay | 4/5 |

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