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Rocket Scientists

Symphonic Prog

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Rocket Scientists Revolution Road album cover
3.53 | 63 ratings | 12 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (51:27)
1. Look Up (0:45)
2. Sky Is Falling (5:26)
3. Dream in Red (6:29)
4. Better View (5:59)
5. Outside the Painted Walls (5:03)
6. Revolution Road (7:41)
7. Forever Nights (5:40)
8. Ptolemy (5:49)
9. Gypsy (of a Strange and Distant Time) (4:02)
10. Savor Every Moment (4:33)

CD 2 (49:21)
11. Castles Fall (5:27)
12. UFO S.H.A.D.O. Theme (3:34)
13. Enjoy the Weather (8:50)
14. Pay Your Dues (5:12)
15. Eden Burns (4:08)
16. Hold That Thought (3:25)
17. House of Cards (5:43)
18. After the Revolution (13:02)

Total Time 100:48

Line-up / Musicians

- Mark McCrite / vocals, guitars
- Erik Norlander / keyboards, producer
- Don Schiff / NS/Stick

- David McBee / vocals (2,3,6,14,15,17)
- Greg Phelps / accordion (13)
- Gregg Bissonette / drums
- Simon Phillips / drums (4)
- Shaun Guerin / drums (4)

Releases information

Artwork: Jacek Yerka

2CD Think Tank Media ‎- TTMD-1050 (2006, US)
2CD Avalon ‎- MICP 90023 (2006, Japan)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy ROCKET SCIENTISTS Revolution Road Music

ROCKET SCIENTISTS Revolution Road ratings distribution

(63 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ROCKET SCIENTISTS Revolution Road reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars I remember that I ordered their second album Brutal Architecture (1995) at Syn-Phonic by Greg Walker, I was blown away by the final track Mariner, what a wonderful and very compelling music and how beautiful the Mellotron sounds! Well, that was ten years ago and we had to wait seven years for this fourth album (after their third Oblivion Days from 1999), I was very curious or Erik Norlander & Co. had made progress? They have and how they have, what an outstanding 2-CD box, I am very, very impressed! The 18 compositions on the two discs sound alternating (from dreamy and compelling to mid-tempo and bombastic), the colouring is very tasteful (from acoustic guitar and violin-Mellotron to heavy guitar riffs, powerful Hammond organ and lots of fat Moog soli) and the production and sound are excellent! The songs are remarkably melodic and accessible but remain captivating: bombastic atmosphere with strong vocals, propulsive guitar work, a piece with wonderful violin-Mellotron and a final part with blistering guitar and sensational Moog flights in Sky Is Falling, a delicious cover from The Moody Blues their song Gypsy (great vocals and breathtaking Mellotron work in the vein of Mike Pinder) and a compelling climate with a beautiful harmony of piano arpeggio's, soaring female choir, fragile guitar and slow Moog runs and halfway senstitive soli on guitar and synthesizer in After The Revolution, this is Prog Heaven! I am sure that many progheads will be delighted about this new (double) album by Rocket Scientists, nowadays a trio with guest musicians like Simon Philips and the late Shaun Guerin. This is absolutely their best effort, what a stunning progess this band has made!
Review by lor68
3 stars Well I can understand the contradictory evaluation of such "metal" progsters about the present symphonic effort by R.S., as it would be a revisited version of some melodic prog rock albums of the eighties, even though it's enriched by means of an "hot" vocalism by David McBee (do you remember the singer of Symphony X?...); nevertheless there's a lot of acoustic guitar stuff, with melodic themes (listen for instance to the pretty mellotron) sometimes replaced by a few - more 'progressive-oriented ' - tracks such as "Hold that Thought" or the funny " UFO/SHADOW Theme" for example, whose mood is total different in comparison to their usual "melodic pop" excursion...of course you can find also some bombastic themes, thanks also to the important contribution of the analogic ( even though a bit "retro'") classic synths like the Hammond, the Moog an so on... you could say that Moody Blues meet IQ (the band of such "new progressive wave" from England I mean), but They have got a certain personality in the recent times and their emulation seldom goes beyond the crazy derivative models of some fans/musicians in love with the classic sound; R.S. have got their inspiration from a particular model of prog rock, but They also run a personal music road (I don't know whether it's a revolutionary road or not, but it's interesting anyway...) and for me it could be enough to make this "Revolution Road" well worth checking out at least!!

Forget bands such as Spock's Beard or Flower Kings and try to listen to something new (especially their melodies, being quite lush at least!!)

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Heavily based on 70's hard rock, spiced with lots of keyboard flamboyance from virtuoso Erik Norlander, Revolution Road is a charming release once it gets going.

The first tracks on this release aren't anything special, but from the title track "Revolution Road" and out the rest of the album there's quite a few goodies and a couple of gems as well. Lots of value for money on this release with 2 hours and 20 minutes of music, and worthwhile checking out.

Personally I'd describe this as classic hard rock not too unlike Uriah Heep at times, heavily spiced with prog tendencies from the ELP school of prog.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Rocket Scientists Revolution Road is their fourth album and proved once and for all they are one of the most talented american bands to appear in the 1990īs. Their mix of symphonic prog with classic rock is quite unique and original. That could translate to a rather chaotic or boring music, but thanks to the songwriting talents of keyboards maestro Erik Norlander that never happens. Every song is different and holds on his own. Norlander pretty much is the main man here: plays great keys in the same fashion as Rick Wakeman, writes music and lyrics, produces, arranges and even does the engineering. Still the album is a team efford. And, up till now, their best. Itīs melodic, varied and creative.

The songs go from hard edge prog rockers (Sky is Falling, with a fantastic synth solo), to acoustic guitar pieces (Better View) to 13 minute Pink Floydish instrumental (After The Revolution). They even manage to dive into jazz rock (Hold That Thought). No track is too similar to the other (some are very different), and yet they all bear the RS trademark, what a feat! And I loved the way iErik Norlander uses his vast array of analog keyboards to enhance the songs (Hammond Organ, Grand Piano, Mellotrons, Mini Moog, etc)

Also included are two covers: The Moody Blues Gypsy (Of A Strange And Distant Time) gets a respectful arrangement and the 70īs UFO sci fi TV series theme is another interesting choice. This time the band features two singers: Mark McCrite as ever and the great Dave McBee. In other words, they are good not only instrumentally but also in the singing department (wish all prog bands did the same).

Conclusion: finest Rocket Scientists album so far. Highly recommended.

Review by progrules
4 stars What I like about prog is long epic songs and melodic music. These are the main elements for me. The first element is not really there on this album, there are mainly shorter songs. But the second is sufficiently there, this is a very melodic album. And there is also a feature that is usually not one of progressive rock: accessible songs. This is very significant for this album, the songs are remarkably accessible. It's almost like pop music, but far far better. That's another reason why I mainly buy progressive music and not pop music, pop music is too simple. You hear it three times and you've had it. But I think the songs on this album are endurable for a long time. And that's why I can yet very much appreciate what Rocket Scientists have done here. I must say this is the only album I know of this band but I will probably check out more in the furture.

What is the nicest element of this album ? I think it's the keyboards. Erik Norlander is doing a very nice job here on most songs. What a virtuoso musician this man is ! And he demonstrates this on many songs.

So if you like pleasant songs with good melodies and nice instrumental interludes this album could be for you ! Best songs are: Revolution Road, Ptolemy, Pay your Dues, After the Revolution and Eden Burns.

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Not incredibly symphonic, but at times very good.

ROCKET SCIENTISTS is definitely a band worth checking out. This is the first album I have ever heard from them and I can say it makes for a very enjoyable experience. The best thing about "Revolution Road" is the amount of songs and the healthy variation one can find in these two discs. One can find very simple, straight-forward rock songs, one can find songs that sound more retro, or tracks with a distinct progressive-symphonic flavor, or a few excellent instrumentals where the musicianship of the band shines through, as well as the symphonic roots is built upon.

As I said in the beginning, the symphonic factor in this album is not immediately evident. Most of the songs are, in my view, closer to neo-prog, in my opinion, than to what we traditionally know as symphonic-prog (molded after the giants of the 70's, like YES or GENESIS). If one is to find that sound anywhere on this record, it will be in the excellent instrumentals, the longest and most interesting pieces in the entire "Revolution Road". But the songs are good anyway, symphonic-factor notwithstanding. Most of them have good melodies, memorable choruses and vocal lines, and there's a few jewels like "Better view" which sounds progressive, without necessarily sounding symphonic. The diversity of influences is huge, as one can hear echoes from classics like ELP or the aforementioned bands, and at the same time a heavier, harder-edge rock sound can be felt, in the vein of bands like DEEP PURPLE; as said before, neo-prog touches can be detected, and there are a few riffs that actually sound slightly metal. A good reference for newcomers would be SPOCK'S BEARD: a band that mixes classic progressive elements with a far more accessible approach to rock music. There's even a track where we're strongly reminded of space-rock/metal great AYREON, which shouldn't come as a surprise as Norlander has collaborated with Arjen Lucassen in a few occasions.

The musicianship is quite good, especially from seasoned-master Erik Norlander on keyboards and Don Schiff in the Chapman Stick. The vocals are good but lack force at some moments. The drumming is very precise if rather unimpressive, especially coming from a legend like Gregg Bissonette. The track "Better View" features two different drummers, drum-giant Simon Phillips in the intro and outro of the song, probably playing the most interesting fills of the whole record, and Shaun Guerin, who was going to be the band's drummer but passed away before production, in the middle section.

All in all, a terrific collection of songs, with variety and enough progressive elements to warrant more than a few very compelling listens. The album will take a long, long time to get old, and it's for that reason that I raise the rating from the 3.5 it deserves due to a few minor flaws to a 4, as it's an excellent addition to any collection.

Review by progaeopteryx
2 stars I have a copy of the Rocket Scientists' Oblivion Days. I bought a long time ago and haven't listened to it for years. I was never really impressed with their formula of mixing pop rock with progressive leanings. It has a couple good songs on it, but the rest of the stuff outweighed it.

Seeing that they had a newer release, I thought I'd give this band another chance after finding their Revolution Road album at a cheap price. It doesn't look they changed the formula much. And this time there are 2 CDs worth of music to meander through.

What kept popping up in my mind was Asia. Yes, Asia. Alright, this is more progressive than Asia, but the bulk of it is made up of pop rock/AOR numbers. For many of them, the only thing progressive about them are certain keyboard flourishes from keyboard maestro Erik Norlander. Now I like Norlander's work, but these flourishes in a Wakeman/Emerson vein seemed to lose their fascination the longer I kept listening to this album. More and more I was getting the feeling that Geoff Downes was playing and hence the Asia feeling again. Norlander's good at the flourishes and the soundscapes, but when is he ever going to get around to doing an interesting melody?

There are a number of instrumentals on the album, but none of them I found appealing. Some were disjointed, some were just plain boring, with only the final track showing some potential (but lacking the excitement it needs, just plodding along for 13 minutes). In fact, the only songs I liked on this album were basic pop rock numbers, Better View and Forever Nights. I found guest vocalist David McBee to be an acquired taste.

The length of this album is also a problem. This could have easily been shortened to a one-disc album as much of the material should have been left for an archive.

If you like Asia, or a band that tends to lean on the pop rock/AOR arena with progressive leanings primarily from keyboard solo flourishes, you'll probably enjoy this. Otherwise, this one is for fans only.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Ptolemy

Seven years after Oblivion Days, Rocket Scientists returned with this double album which to this date remains their latest one. In the meantime, Erik Norlander had recorded and produced as many as three studio albums under his own name as well as several albums with Lana Lane (for which he wrote much of the material). The other guys from Rocket Scientists were involved in many of these projects as well. Needless to add, this was a very prolific period for these people. All of this also translated into a more mature album in Revolution Road. The Pop side of the band is still present, but overall they adopted a rockier sound for this one. They also abandoned the misguided attempts to sound contemporary on Oblivion Days.

Personally, I think that making a double album was overkill. Had they condensed the material into a single disc it would have been a stronger album. The included a cover of The Moody Blues' Gypsy (Of A Strange And Distant Time). It is a good one, but I don't see the point of making a double album if you have to include covers to fill it out. As it stands, Revolution Road is about equal in quality compared to the previous three albums by the band, all of which I have given the same rating. All three albums are good but they all have their respective advantages and shortcomings.

There are no weak tracks as such here but also no tracks that stand out from the rest. It is an enjoyable and pleasant listen, but not particularly memorable. The musicianship is very high as always, but it seems that Norlander used his best compositions for his solo albums and Lana Lane's many great albums.

Just another good Rocket Scientists album

Latest members reviews

4 stars Great album full of instrumental parts. The guitarist and singer Mark McCrite complements really well with Eric Norlander, and Don Schiff with the stick contributes too, even in the songwriting. In the CD 1 Sky is falling is a superb opener with a great keyboard riff and a heavy guitar side. ... (read more)

Report this review (#421568) | Posted by genbanks | Thursday, March 24, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After a long absence, ROCKET SCIENTISTS released their fourth album, Revolution Road in 2006. Musically, it follows in the same vein as Oblivion Days, but also explores several different avenues. The band is joined by new drummer Gregg Bissonette, along with an appearence from Simon Phillips and ... (read more)

Report this review (#200720) | Posted by ZeroDreamPlasMaximus | Monday, January 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Revolution Road garnered many very favorable reviews after it was released, some of them so effusive that you just had to look into it. I was a bit skeptical and went for the $10 download off iTunes and am glad I didn't pay full freight for the double CD. Of course when you see some very well r ... (read more)

Report this review (#197660) | Posted by johnobvious | Wednesday, January 7, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A beautiful piece of progressive rock. Melodic and varied. Superb production. Has the late Shaun Guerin on one track (he was supposed to play drums on the entire album but died shortly after recording sessions started). Highly recommended ! Achim ... (read more)

Report this review (#96215) | Posted by Achim | Monday, October 30, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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