(See http://www.durp.com for original German review)
Hermetic Science’s debut album (released in 1997) brought some fresh air into the prog scene. The mastermind of Hermetic Science is keyboard player Ed Macan. On En Route, progrock fans get a wild mixture of progressive instrumental, ECM-style spatial jazz, classical style, and orchestral inferno. “En Route,” the suite, is based around the novels of J. K. Huysmans.
The opener, “Mars, the Bringer of War,” is a dark and threatening track with lots of strange sounds and a bolero-type rhythm. “Against the Grain” consists of four parts, lasting about 20 minutes overall. The piano plays an important role here, as well as the Micromoog, digital pipe organ, ARP string ensemble, and electronic harpsichord. I have never listened to a Hermetic Science album before . . . and I am quite surprised how strange, how interesting, and how symphonic their music is. The best way to describe the four-track “Against the Grain” is to imagine a mixture of early Alan Parsons, early Eloy, Apogee, or Versus X and some slight psychedelic seventies new age progressive rock atmosphere, decorated with freakin’ organ, jazz elements, and groovin’ beats. Another highlight is “Raga Hermeticum,” a nine-minute track featuring 10-string lyre, Eastern percussion, and oriental flute tunes. And of course, there’s the weird piano/organ progrock smasher “En Route.” A great, a unique and entertaining no-easy-listening instrumental progrock album for all the die-hard prog-weirdos out there! 8 points Marcus Weis