Sea of Tranquility - Execute and Breathe
Elephants of Scotland is an exciting band hailing from Burlington, Vermont. They formed in 2010 but their roots go all the way back to '80s cover band Neon Magic. Their first album Home Away From Home was released in 2013. EXECUTE and BREATHE is their brand new album and folks, it's a beauty.
The band is Dan MacDonald (bass, vocals), Ornan McLean (drums, percussion), Adam Rabin (synth, vocals) and John Whyte (guitar, vocals).
Three out of four band members sing lead vocals and they are all excellent. Anyone who says progressive rock lacks good singers needs to listen to this band. Musically, the album stays within the confines of heavy melodic prog with the occasional foray into AOR territory. Rest assured, the musicianship is top notch and the band are clearly influenced by '80s/'90s Rush.
The album begins with the catchy "A Different Machine" and its huge pulsating bass line. When the hard rocking rhythms kick in you just know this will be a powerful album. Short winding synths and melodic guitar riffs makes for excellent power prog before the music slows and gets heavy once again.
"The Other Room" begins with cool ringing guitars travelling between speakers and forms another excellent guitar groove. The synths and guitar, both lead and rhythm, is tasty throughout.
"Amber Waves" begins with pretty piano and melodic vocals before turning into a mid-tempo groove. Electric riffs turn into tasty acoustic strumming where tasteful keyboards seem to float like leaves on the breathe. The heavier riffs return, this time with big organ fills rounding out the sound. This is classy and sophisticated rock music with enough progressive undertones that kept this prog fan fully engaged.
The atmospheric intro of drifting keys and effects begin "TFAY", another fine slice of heavy melodic prog that will have fans Rush clamouring for more. Even the lead vocals of Whyte recall a subdued Geddy Lee. Some excellent drums, bass and guitar interaction on this one. "Boxless" is another Rush influenced tune with catchy synth lines, excellent bass and chiming guitar chords. This time the Power Windows album came to mind.
I really can't recommend EXECUTE and BREATHE enough. Elephants of Scotland should be a household name and hopefully this album will bring them the recognition they deserve.