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THE PERFECT MAP

Elephants Of Scotland

Neo-Prog


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Elephants Of Scotland The Perfect Map album cover
3.82 | 29 ratings | 2 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sun-Dipped Orphans And The Wizard's Teapot (6:07)
2. Counting On A Ghost (5:38)
3. One By Sea (4:38)
4. Swing The Gavel (5:36)
5. The Perfect Map (7:41)
6. Random Earth (9:29)
7. Für Buddy (2:08)

Total Time 41:17

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- John Whyte / guitar, lead (6) & backing vocals
- Adam Rabin / keyboards, vocals, noises, producer
- Dan MacDonald / bass, lead (4,6) & backing vocals
- Ornan McLean / drums, percussion

With:
- Megan Beaucage / vocals (3)
- Gary Kuo / violin (3)
- Joe Netzel / doumbek (5)

Releases information

Artwork: Adam Rabin

CD self-released (2016, US)
FLAC lossless download (2016, bandcamp.com)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ELEPHANTS OF SCOTLAND The Perfect Map ratings distribution


3.82
(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
10%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
45%
Good, but non-essential (41%)
41%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

ELEPHANTS OF SCOTLAND The Perfect Map reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by FragileKings
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Elephants of Scotland's "The Perfect Map" was a bit of an item a few months ago. In a single week, I encountered reviews of this album on three different forums. I was a little disappointed that the band is not from Scotland but I ordered the album anyway. From the beginning, I liked it and after several plays spread out between several other incoming purchases, I like it a whole lot more.

The general description of the music can be complex, frequently busy, and energetic progressive ROCK, with each song not only standing apart from the others in tempo and atmosphere but also receiving additional treatments to help make each song a stand-apart entity as well as a unifying part of the whole album. In short, I like that this album doesn't have a string of similar sounding songs.

"Sun-Dipped Orphans and the Wizard's Teapot". What a title! Is this a Gong album? We start with a drum rhythm intro that sounds like it would fit right in to a big band number. It quickly turns into a prog piece with synthesizer effects, piano and a kind of dancing guitar riff. Indeed sun-dipped orphans are running about. "Sun-dipped orphans ran into the castle and in the great hall did make a pyramid of ten." I'll say it right now, though the music doesn't bring anything new to the table of modern prog and even sounds similar to what a lot of bands are doing, this is a rousing first track, lively and quick and the first track for me to call a favourite.

But then "Counting on a Ghost" comes in with bursting synthesizer chords as an even faster paced number, frantic and speedy with a tinge of 80's Rush. Then just when you think you got this band sorted and labeled, they come in peacefully with "One By Sea", featuring Meagan Beaucage on vocals. It's like a sea chanty at first but then breaks into a proggy middle section before turning into a slightly more straightforward rock number. Alright. The going is good.

Now comes "Swing the Gavel" with acoustic guitar and recorder, I think. This reminds me of the Celtic folk band who became alternative rock / folk fusion, Spirit of the West. This is like their early stuff from the mid-eighties. I should say here though a word about the vocals. I'm not sure who is the lead vocalist but there are moments when I feel he doesn't have the British touch that goes into a lot of the music and lyrics. At times the music has more power than he can muster and other times it sounds like someone who doesn't do British is trying to read Shakespeare. This does not mean that the vocals are bad. Not at all. But this music has a certain sound to it that requires a little more in some songs.

"The Perfect Map" is musically simpler than other tracks so far but it has an eerie and haunting style that makes it yet another surprise. You really can't guess what this band is going to serve up track after track. Again, I like the variety!

"Random Earth" really brings in some Rush sounds again, this time more like around "Counterparts" I feel. Dan McDonald's bass and John Whyte's guitar, not to mention Ornan McLean on drums and Adam Rabin's keyboards really bring that era of Rush to life here. At one point, I was thinking the vocals need a little something extra for this style of music though, and then suddenly a second voice came in with a higher register sounding almost like Geddy Lee! Of course the music goes beyond Rush; every song goes beyond what it seems to start out doing. And then the whole musical ride slows down with a short instrumental called "Fur Buddy" which is dedicated to a pet canine.

To wrap it up, this album has been great to hear again and again and get to know each track for all their twists and turns. Excellently composed and performed music in my opinion. Anything less than impressive would be the sound of the vocals in a few places as I mentioned above and that basically what we have here is nothing that dozens of other bands aren't doing, meaning that there are a lot of talented musicians writing and playing excellent complex and exciting music. But I see it this way. You've got a chef who knows how to cook up exquisite dishes, and though you've had something like them before, these are still delectable. The chefs here are all of high calibre as their dishes prove.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars I've been following the North American band Elephants Of Scotland from the beginning, and since then, I've come to listen to all the material the band has released so far and I have 2 CDs of them in my collection.

Overall, in my opinion, the band was always 'OK'. No more than that. The group was full of good intentions, good ideas, but sometimes I have this impression that the band was 'rushing' with their arrangements and recordings in the euphoria of releasing a new album. The band started in 2011 and in 6 years have 3 studio albums and 1 live release!

I get the impression that this was fixed on The Perfect Map, the group's latest album. When you hear the record you can feel that the material has been rehearsed and thought for a long time. It is also good to see that the band, despite the clear influence of classic Progressive Rock of the 70's, can have a sound of their own in the new album.

For me one of the low points of the group's sound, always has been the vocals of Adam Rabin. I get the feeling they are aware of that, in the new record his vocals seem more concise, more 'trained' and they even have a guest vocalist Megan Beaucage in the track "One By Sea". However, the weaker moments of the album still lay on the weak vocals, like in 'Swing The Gavel'.

Overall The Perfect Map is an album that should appeal to any fan of the classic Progressive Rock period but who still likes to search for new and high quality material in the same classic line!

Available on Bandcamp.

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