Maps Of Non-Existent Places Review

artist: Thank You Scientist date: 08/04/2015 category: compact discs
Thank You Scientist: Maps Of Non-Existent Places
Released: Sep 30, 2014
Genre: Progressive Rock, Jazz Fusion
Label: Evil Ink, Universal Music
Number Of Tracks: 10
In a world where most recent rock and metal is intense and introspective, a band that is willing to take this many risks and put out something as fun and weird as this is a nice breath of fresh air.
 Sound: 10
 Lyrics: 8
 Overall Impression: 9
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overall: 9
Maps Of Non-Existent Places Reviewed by: Ghiklnos, on august 04, 2015
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Thank You Scientist are a seven piece jazz fusion band with one of the most unique and interesting arrangements around, juxtaposing jazz elements using a saxophone and classical elements using a violin with some technically and aesthetically pleasing progressive rock and metal, giving a wholesome, multi-layered sound. Their debut album is one of the most diverse and fresh sounding releases in a long time, combining heavy, powerful and intense moments with funky, jazzy and at times, outright funny ones. The combination of instruments and genres is not one that seems like it should work but, somehow, it does. This album is an exquisitely orchestrated, brilliantly executed work of art. The instrumentation on this album is exceptional. Each one of the multitude of instruments blends perfectly together and never seem out of place, besides having their own moments to shine. The band draws from various different backgrounds, including smooth jazz, heavy metal, Spanish, Middle Eastern, classical, progressive rock, blues and many others. This album is one of the most fun records to come out in the last few years.

The only real issue with the album is that it suffers from something that a large number of debut albums do, which is arrangement of tracks. The strongest tracks on the album are placed first and it sort of fades away toward the end. As a result, the last few tracks, though good, don't hit you as hard as some of the previous ones.

The individual tracks are as follows:

1. "Prelude": A one minute acapella introduction that has some really interesting harmonies and sets the tone for the rest of the album.

2. "A Salesman's Guide to Non-Existence": One of the most energetic and fun tracks on the album and a good example of the diversity in the band's sound with some interesting guitar work.

3. "Feed the Horses": An incredible song that flows through almost every genre imaginable, from funk to metal to jazz. This song also has some great vocal work.

4. "Blood on the Radio": The longest track on the album, clocking in at almost nine and a half minutes. One of the best songs on the album, with a kicka-s bass line and a weird but brilliant into. This song is a good starting point if you want a taste of what this album is like.

5. "The Absentee": A somewhat slower, cleaner and smoother song. Some very good bass guitar work.

6. "Suspicious Waveforms": An instrumental jazz track that showcases the technical skill of all the musicians in the band. Also, some incredible saxophone work.

7. "Carnival": A brilliant song with some of the most contrast on the album. Includes an intense chorus and a crazy violin and saxophone solo.

8. "Concrete Swan Dive": A tonal shift in the album as it takes a dive for the darker and heavier side.

9. "In the Company of Worms": The heaviest track on the album (for the most part), with some strong Middle Eastern influences. Also, the weakest track on the album. It's not bad, but it doesn't have the same impact as some of the other songs.

10. "My Famed Disappearing Act": Includes some Animals as Leaders-ish guitar work. A very strong end to the album. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics and vocals on this album, though good, are somehow the least interesting things about this album. The lyrics are not the deep, metaphysical poetry that you'd expect from TesseracT or Tool. They do, however, complement the tone of the album and have some fun wordplay if you listen to them carefully. The vocals are good but not as brilliant as the rest of the instrumentation. There are moments when the vocals shine, but for the most part, they are overshadowed by the rest of the band. They seem somewhat small compared to the grandiose orchestration around them. // 8

Overall Impression: In a world where most recent rock and metal is intense and introspective, a band that is willing to take this many risks and put out something as fun and weird as this is a nice breath of fresh air. If you're looking for an album with heavy, thumping, head banging riffs or soulful, deep lyrics, then this is not the record for you. But, if you want a fun album to sit back and have a good time with, I would strongly recommend this one. It's energetic, complex without losing itself in its complexity and surprisingly well balanced, with no one instrument overpowering the other. There are very few artists who could pull off this sort of work and the fact that its a debut album makes it all the more impressive. I am eagerly looking forward to more material by this band.

The stand out tracks on this album are "Blood on the Radio," "Carnival" and "Feed the Horses." // 9

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