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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

ScienceNV

The Quest For Prester John, Volume 1

Review by Greg Olma

As a reviewer, I’m exposed to a lot of interesting music; some good, some not so good.  There is so much music coming out that flies under the radar that we (as the music buying public) don’t get exposed to in our normal lives.  That being said, this disc by ScienceNV is one that I feel deserves some attention.  While it may not be the perfect album, it has more than its fair share of really good songs with the instrumental tunes and passages being the standout moments here.  The Quest For Prester John, Volume 1 has many different elements ranging from jazz, rock, and even operatic vocals making for a very prog release.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Fanfare

The record starts off with this intro which is titled accurately.  The tune has a “fanfare” vibe that reminds me a lot of the band Yes.  It’s short, clocking in shy of a minute and a half and sets the mood for the epic “Eloise’s Tale."

Eloise’s Tale

If we were still dealing with vinyl, this epic track would be stretched over two sides with little room for much more.  Although the song consists of nine smaller parts (which flow into one another) there is a cohesive feel to this long cut.  Throughout the 32 minutes there are parts that sound a bit operatic, some jazz elements, and definitely Pink Floyd-ish moments.  The acoustic guitar parts really stand out in this number (which really is the centerpiece of the disc).

An Earthly Paradise

This song consists of piano and what sounds like running water.  It could be the title, but when I hear this track, I feel that I am waking up in a garden paradise with the sun shining.

The Gates of Alexander

When this cut starts, it sounds like men and horses marching into battle in almost a movie soundtrack type of recording.  Then the tune takes a bit of a turn into Yes territory with some really good guitar work.  There are no real vocals other than the “heave” and “ho” that are sporadic throughout.

Above the Falls

This is the most straight forward piece on this album.  It’s a progressive sounding tune without many time changes or “parts,” yet it still manages to fit in nicely with the other prog elements on this record.

Beyond the Falls

Similar in style as “An Earthly Paradise," this short little instrumental starts off slow and as it builds, more instruments become present to give it a very full sound.  Although it may not be the centerpiece like “Eloise’s Tale," this is one of the better cuts on offer here.

The Mongols

This rocker reminds me of Yes with a little Angel (remember them?) thrown in for good measure.  Also an instrumental, this one rocks out the hardest on this disc.  Even though it is stated that this is only “Volume 1," it is a great way to end this prog filled first set.

 
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