EXPOSE (U.S.A.) no. 24 (April 2002), p. 55

This is the third outing from musician/author Ed Macan and his band.� Once again it is an ambitious outing with a lengthy (45-minute) suite.� The instrumental music is based upon the writings of late 19th-century author J.K. Huysmans, whose semi-autobiographical novels chronicle the death and rebirth of the human spirit.� The music is appropriately heavy with the trio sounding somewhat like Tarkus-era ELP or perhaps an updated version of Egg during their Polite Force days.� En Route should appeal strongly to fans of keyboard-oriented classic progressive rock.� Macan writes or co-writes almost all of the material, and he also plays a wide variety of mostly vintage keyboards as well as some tuned percussion, wind instruments, and the harp-like lyre.� He has a new rhythm section, and bassist Jason Hoopes figures predominantly in the album�s most unique track, �Raga Hermeticum.�� Not surprisingly the piece has Indian instrumentation with Hoopes� sitar stating the melody along with Macan�s lyre and then recorder.� It develops beautifully and then ultimately returns to restate the opening theme, making it a perfectly symmetrical nine-minute excursion.� The only cover is a doomy sounding version of Holst�s �Mars, the Bringer of War� that opens the album.� My only complaint about this otherwise excellent disc is that the vibes and marimba are downplayed due to a greater concentration on keyboards.� The result is that the final product has a more conventional progressive sound that fails to fully capitalize on the unique qualities of Macan�s sterling work on mallet instruments.����������������������� David Ashcraft