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Rocket Scientists - Refuel CD (album) cover

REFUEL

Rocket Scientists

 

Symphonic Prog

3.95 | 48 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Rocket Scientists is a group of american musicians who balance their sound between Erik Norlander´s symphonic prog tendencies and Mark McCrite pop sensibilities. And it seems that, in the end, McCrite´s influences are more proeminent than Norlander´s. At the excellent, all instrumental, EP Supernatural Highways that preceded Refuel in a few months, wheren you can find the band in full blown symphonic prog mode, I was expecting more of the same in their next full lenghth. But that was not to be. Definitly, this is a much more "song" oriented stuff like most of their previous works.

Please, don´t get me wrong: these are surely sophisticated and well crafeted tunes, with several styles and moods. Besides, Norlander´s majestic keyboards are all over them. The band even brought some novelties like a brass trio to some tracks. It was also nice to see Don Schiff showing off his talents on cello, violin and mandolin, besides his already impressive work on the N/S Stick and bass. In other words: with all the pop leanings on much of the songwriting, you´ll still finds lots of progressive stutff here. Even some jazz and latin music bits can be heard here and there.

My only gripe about this record is that, after the monumental 26 minute epic title track of the EP, there are only three instrumentals on Refuel, all of them short ones. In fact the longest song here barely hits the 8 minute mark. Again, this is not a bad sign, and overall the songwriting on this album is excellent. There are no fillers. Still, considering the tremendous talents of all involved, they could have been a little bolder and take more risks. Where is the fuel to propel this rocket higher to the stratosphear?

If you like melodic prog rock with terrific performances and tasteful arrangements, this is surely for you. On the other hand if you´re looking for long instrumental passages, improvisations and jams, you might get disappointed. For my tastes, I liked Refuel a lot.

Rating: 4 stars.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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