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Thank You Scientist - Maps of Non-Existent Places CD (album) cover

MAPS OF NON-EXISTENT PLACES

Thank You Scientist

 

Crossover Prog

3.87 | 86 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Andy Webb
Forum & Site Admin Group
Admin / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars I hope this doesn't obviate the rest of the review, but I'd like to start off by saying this: if you haven't heard Thank You Scientist yet and enjoy music, I command you to drop what you are doing and purchase this album. Thank You Scientist is a young septet formed in New Jersey far away from the shore in 2010. The band was quick to release their debut EP 'Perils of Time Travel' early 2011, which is what first grabbed my attention. The band's incredible use of orchestration between their impressive seven members, obvious energy and passion and playing their music, and overall fresh and creative form of music captivated me with listen after listen. I patiently waited, and before long the band began to post news of a new album, which finally materialized as Maps of Non-existent Places.

If you're not already familiar with the band (which you should be), I'll explain their absolutely wonderful style for you. The seven guys obviously have an incredibly eclectic musical background, because before listening to their music I was unaware so many styles could be shoved into any kind of music. The band manages to fuse the complexity of classic progressive rock with a modern prog atmosphere, the energy of a pop punk band, the orchestration of a jazz fusion band, some moments of complex heaviness like a progressive metal band, the musicianship of a well-trained orchestra, the groove of a chill funk band, the communication and fluidity of an experienced jazz combo, and a compositional genius unmatched by most bands today.

With every song the band manages to throw a new curveball, whether it's the beautifully arranged polyphonic a capella piece 'Prelude' that opens the album or the full-out jazz fusion solo-fest 'Suspicious Waveforms,' the guys always have something up their sleeve, and this album is a fantastic showing of the vast creative ability that lies within the seven musicians. On top of the creative compositional ability, the pure musicianship in every member is astounding, and every part on every song is played with fluid ease and crystal understanding. On top of that, every guy seems to know every other guy in the best musical way, so that in every solo section every part flows smoothly, everything meshes with incredible ease, and the whole musical movement sounds effortless.

One of the main reasons I like this new offering from Thank You Scientist over their original EP is the even more creative orchestrations found on the album. On Perils of Time Travel, while it in no way detracted from the EP, it felt as though the more 'exotic' rock instruments in the band (the reeds, brass, and stings) were used more as a texture in the place of keyboards. While of course they had solos and added their little flair to the EP, it seems as though this album uses them more to their potential. They're used for not only for filling out harmonies, but as lead parts, straight melody instruments, soloists, and so much more. If there was one thing that really made TYS what it is, it would be their awesome eclectic lineup, and I was so happy to see it used in such an awesome manner on the album.

Any expectations I had of this album before diving into it (a concrete swan dive I might add) were shattered by the end of my first listen. The album is a truly fantastic showing of the band's musical might, it is extremely enjoyable and memorable the whole way through, and it has the absolute perfect mix of complexity and simplicity as to attract the prog fans but not scare away those who aren't obsessed with having 108 time signature changes in five minutes. The mix of emotion, as seen in songs like 'Absentee,' and technicality, which appears in most of the album but most especially songs like 'My Famed Disappearing Act,' is spot on, and the balance between heavy riffs and either lighter instrumentation or solo parts is in perfect homeostasis as well. The vocals are well-performed and complement the music perfectly. Overall, there is essentially nothing wrong with this album. I'll cap it the same way I began: if you don't have this album, I recommend you get it. Now. 4+ stars.

Andy Webb | 4/5 |

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