2015 by Marcel Hartenberg
Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages... Oh no, wait this is not Trekkie territory around here. Here we have a universe created by those magnificent men and woman that already sent us into space with their Attack of the Martians album.

The line-up of the band has changed, partly due to the untimely passing of the band's original drummer Mark Cella. He is still missed, having played an important role in the band. Apart from introducing a new man on the drums, the band has added Tom Benson, who plays violin, guitar synth and the ever popular MandoBot.

The cover of the album takes us into vintage sci-fi movie territory, and a closer look at the track titles does the same. Opener Breaking Osiris comes with an Eastern flavour, yet this does not hark back to the times of the Egyptian pharaohs, it is all about Hubble images. Space and sci-fi are the central themes.

The band sure know their ELP and their King Crimson. Yet what they have succeed in, is to build on trademarks such as the grumbling bass, as much as the great vintage key sounds and the violin parts, as any lover of either of those bands would want them to. Their music is not simply a 1 + 1 of the music of these bands. What we have here is firmly rooted in the mystery that the sci-fi movies of old hold. The songs put that feel, that vibe into music. The richness in the keys is one of the main ingredients here, varied and spicy, as you might expect a meal to be produced from fusion cooking.

Both drummers are featured on the album and it is a great testimony to Mark Cella that his follow-up is a great drummer as well. What Bill Noland does with his bass is simply stunning, as Stellar Attraction easily shows. This is a song in which the whole of the band excel. Not that the other songs on this album are any less compelling, it is just the amazing bass part in the second track that left me stunned. As for bass sounds, wait for the opening seconds of the epic Creation of the Humanoids. As Madeleine Noland shows around the 1:50 mark, there might be some ELP vibe left in this band, but hey, this is far more than a tribute band could ever be.

It would be one great adventure to hear this music played live, yet picturing this band perform these great instrumental tracks in a vintage sci fi movie setting, already works miracles. If you like your prog to be heavy on keyboards, with a sense of humour in there as well, and by a band that builds their own musical landscapes as they go along, this might be your ideal trip into space.

Conclusion: 7.5 out of 10

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