Oblivion Days - 2007 Remastered Edition

by Rocket Scientists

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kadees Ein gelungenes Rock Album, welches sich bedenkenlos vielen Schubladen zuordnen lässt. Hier ist nicht nur der Prog-Fan gefragt zuzuschlagen. Favorite track: Oblivion Days - studio 1999 - remastered 2007.
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about

Oblivion Days is the 4th studio release from California's progressive rock masters, Rocket Scientists. Combining their familiar blend of studio mastery with both vintage and modern musical elements, the album displays considerable growth and evolution from the band's previous releases. This growth is a result of Rocket Scientists' touring and recording experience acquired over the last four years since the previous studio release, 1995's Brutal Architecture.

Rocket Scientists' debut album, Earthbound, arrived in 1993 displaying a breathtaking blend of pop and progressive elements: solid songwriting and production combined with progressive arrangements and symphonic sounds. The second album was Brutal Architecture, which was released in 1995. Brutal Architecture took the band into more progressive waters with longer tracks and more experimental compositions including the 11:30 long epic "Mariner". The band toured Europe in 1997, participating in several progressive festivals and club dates in England, Holland and Germany.

Beginning in 1998, Rocket Scientists became an integral part of the recording and live sound of symphonic rock vocalist Lana Lane. The four - member Rocket Scientists lineup of Brutal Architecture and Earth Below and Sky Above toured with Lana in Japan and the US, appearing on her Live in Japan CD as well as several Lana Lane studio albums including Garden of the Moon and Queen of the Ocean. Oblivion Days contains a live bonus track of the Brutal Architecture song "Wake Me Up" recorded live at a club date in Tokyo while on tour with Lana Lane in April of 1999.

Rocket Scientists' involvement with Lana Lane affected the band's sound significantly. Whereas Brutal Architecture featured a more acoustic and vintage sound, Oblivion Days adds the weight and drama of powerful rock guitars and heavier drum tracks. These added modern dramatic elements combined with the vintage elements of Mellotron, Hammond organ, Moog synthesizer and E-bow guitar result in a powerful symphonic experience rich with depth and color.

In order to achieve this sonic expansion for Oblivion Days, core members Mark McCrite and Erik Norlander enlisted several additional musicians to deepen these symphonic colors. Lana Lane guitarist Neil Citron also appears, contributing his fluid and melodic solo style as well as his fiery rhythms. Also from the Lana Lane camp, a guest appearance is made by fretless bassist Tony Franklin, known for his work with The Firm and Blue Murder in addition to Lana Lane. Drummer / percussionist Greg Ellis participates on the album as well. Ellis is known for his work on Erik Norlander's solo albums, Threshold, Seas of Orion and Into the Sunset as well as his percussion with the world music group Vas and also Mickey Hart of Grateful Dead fame. Lastly, the queen of symphonic rock herself, Lana Lane makes an appearance on the album contributing her angelic vocals to the harmonies of several tracks.

In addition to these guest musicians, the familiar Rocket Scientists rhythm section of bassist Don Schiff and drummer Tommy Amato again appear on Oblivion Days. Schiff of course plays his well - known Chapman Stick on the record, but he also adds to his arsenal the new prototype NS/Stick instrument as well as his old faithful Rickenbacker conventional four - string bass.

The center of Rocket Scientists is vocalist / guitarist Mark McCrite and keyboardist / producer Erik Norlander. McCrite brings vintage and melodic influences to the band -- everything from The Beatles to The Moody Blues to Crowded House. McCrite's love of both melody and harmony adds compositional richness and sophistication to the Rocket Scientists sound. Contrastingly, Norlander contributes the more progressive, symphonic and rock elements -- influences from Emerson, Lake and Palmer to Procol Harum to Deep Purple. In fact, the title track from Oblivion Days was originally written to submit to ELP, but Norlander chose instead to use it for Rocket Scientists when ELP announced one of their many breakups in early 1999. McCrite and Norlander have worked together for over 15 years since the two attended high school together in the mid-1980's.

Oblivion Days contains an expansive collection of tracks all centered around a strong sonic concept. Tracks such as "Aqua Vitae", "Banquo's Ghost" and "Escape" move from spacious acoustic introspection to full - speed progressive fireworks. Other tracks such as "Oblivion Days" take a more heavy and dramatic approach right from the start. As one would expect from Rocket Scientists, there are several instrumental tracks on Oblivion Days as well. The band continues the "Dark Water" theme begun on Brutal Architecture with "Dark Water Part Three: Neptune's Sun" and "Dark Water Part Four: Heavy Water". As with Brutal Architecture, there are also two signature instrumental pieces each composed individually by McCrite and Norlander: McCrite's "Compass Variation" and Norlander's "Archimedes" continue in the tradition of Brutal Architecture's "Nether" and "Copernicus". Lastly, Oblivion Days features a dramatic cover of the 70's TV series theme, "Space:1999". The song was chosen both for its timeliness ("1999") and its reference to "Space" -- a subject certainly suitable for a band called Rocket Scientists.

Oblivion Days is an exciting journey through a vivid realm of sound, style and substance. Featuring astounding cover art by Lana Lane artist Jacek Yerka, the album delivers a stunning blend of the surreal and the symphonic. With Oblivion Days, Rocket Scientists once again show that progressive rock is alive and well!

credits

released September 21, 1999

Mark McCrite - vocals, guitars
Erik Norlander - keyboards, vocals
Don Schiff - NS/Stick, bass guitar

with
Greg Ellis - drums and percussion
Tommy Amato - additional drums
Neil Citron - additional guitars
Tony Franklin - additional bass guitar
Lana Lane - harmony vocals

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about

Rocket Scientists El Dorado Hills, California

Formed in the late 1980s by keyboardist Erik Norlander and vocalist / guitarist Mark McCrite, the two released their first CD in 1993 joined by bassist Don Schiff who soon became a part of the band. RS has played many festivals and concert dates across North America and Europe and continue to release new music. Memorable songwriting and innovative instrumentation are Rocket Scientists hallmarks ... more

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Track Name: Aqua Vitae - studio 1999 - remastered 2007
Tumbling and turning the dark water falls
Up from the deep to the land
Filling the holes as it flows up to me
And I’m not so sure where I stand

Cracks in the earth like a great Chinese wall
Quakes like a tottering throne
The river is deep and I’m trying to swim
But I’ll probably sink like a stone

Under the waves
Stirring the sea
Old Poseidon
Aqua vitae
Lighting the way
Neptune’s sun

Thrashing and threshing the dark matter falls
Down from the sky to the land
Swallowing whole all that pass in its way
Where chaos is making a stand

Cracks in the sky and the sanctified halls
Thunder cuts straight to the bone
The oceans will rise and the sheltering skies
Will scream like an old gramophone

Under the waves
Stirring the sea
Old Poseidon
Aqua vitae
Lighting the way
Neptune’s sun

Nobody can reach you
You’re moving in a nether world where sunlight burns your eyes
Like falling through holes in the sky
You think you have died
But if we could see through your eyes

Nobody can reach you
You’re king of all the ancient worlds so why would you return?
And we should known it by now
That it’s all in your head
For you have escaped us somehow

Under the waves
Stirring the sea
Old Poseidon
Aqua vitae
Lighting the way
Neptune’s sun
Track Name: Oblivion Days - studio 1999 - remastered 2007
This time next year we’ll be looking at our yesterdays
See how far we’ve come from here
All of our fears are the history of future days

Climb the mountain, touch the skyline

If you know that change is constant
You’ll find it’s nothing new
Don’t be surprised when you realize it’s happened to you
There’s a storm on the horizon
It’s coming here to stay
It’s a one way ride through the silicon sky
Oblivion days

The road is clear down the neverending motorway
From the brink of fleeting time
Along the banks of the river turning night to day

Climb the mountain, touch the skyline

If you know that change is constant
You’ll find it’s nothing new
Don’t be surprised when you realize it’s happened to you
There’s a storm on the horizon
It’s coming here to stay
It’s a suicide dive through the hurricane’s eye
Oblivion days

This time next year we’ll be looking at our yesterdays
See how far we’ve come from here
The sound you’ll hear ‘cross the ocean land of far away

Climb the mountain, touch the skyline

When you know that change is constant
You’ll find it’s nothing new
Don’t be surprised when the compromise is all about you
You can read it in the headlines
It’s close in every way
When the holes in the sky just multiply
Oblivion days

When you’re standing at the crossroads
So far from hallowed ground
Where the high road ends just ‘round the bend in a flash of sight and sound
There’s a storm on the horizon
It’s coming here to stay
It’s a one way ride through the silicon sky
Oblivion days
Track Name: Banquo's Ghost - studio 1999 - remastered 2007
You were talking
All about the plans you’re making
How they’re going to change your life

But when the deed is grimly done
You’re strung out like an old piano

Now you reap the seeds you sow
You feel just like you’re falling

The eyes upon the lunar face
Reflecting on the glassy water
Ever watching over Earth below

And late at night you see the face
The sky is like the one from Van Gogh
Starlight in the afterglow

It seems to me you’re losing control
Echoes from the ghost of Banquo

You were talking
All about the plans you’re making
Nothing’s going to change your mind

If only you could change the past
And find a way to start it over
Surrender everything you are
And try to believe

If only you could see the signs
They’re lurking in the murky water
Starlight in the afterglow

It seems to me you’re losing control
Echoes from the ghost of Banquo
Track Name: Escape - studio 1999 - remastered 2007
Morning comes earlier each day
Summer turns colder as autumn falls
Darkness and daylight fade into gray
Shadows that haunt prison walls

They say time is a healer but time sealed your fate
You walk with the lonely and live with the hate
You need to rehearse but now the curtain is up
And God knows the show must go on

Oh, oh, oh
Escape
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Escape

Once you were young and you dreamed of the stars
Lighting the holes in the summer sky
Racing the wind with your best avatars
Blind to the time rushing by

Slowly gravity pulled you on down from the sky
You found that your wings were too heavy to fly
You built up the walls to lock the daydreams away
And lost yourself in the maze

Oh, oh, oh
Escape
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Escape
Oh, oh, oh, oh

Morning comes earlier each day
All dreams are fading as winter calls
Starlight and shadows take you away
Shapes on the old prison wall

They’re hanging up Jesus in a motel room
Some old velvet pictures, the sun and the moon
The cigarette smoke is hanging stale in the air
And God knows the show must go on

Oh, oh, oh
Escape ...
Track Name: Break the Silence - studio 1999 - remastered 2007
Break the silence
Right in front of me
There’s a window
Overlooks the sea

Lightning strikes across the sky
Oceans full of dreams that died
Time is never on your side

Break the silence
Ashes through the rain
Lower the curtain
Lights out on the stage

Vermillion colored waves will rise
Oceans swallow paradise
Water from a moonlit sky
Breaks the silence

Break the silence
Waves are rolling in
Hold the circle
Shed this mortal skin

Lightning strikes across the sky
Oceans full of dreams that died
Time is never on your side

One last breath, a final sigh
As the water rises high
Mem’ries of a life gone by

Break the silence
Track Name: Wake Me Up - bonus track - Live in Tokyo 1999
Fly my pretty angel hanging right above my head
She can't see my fingers move
She thinks I must be dead

Throw me a line, I'm going down for the last time
Give me a sign, I'm going under again

Time rushes by, when it's gone it's gone forever
Wake me up and say
I'm dreaming

Underwater I can breathe in aquamarine blue
I can see her reaching out
But she won't pull me through

Throw me a line, I'm going down for the last time
Give me a sign, I'm going under again

Time drifts away like a boat out on the ocean
Wake me up and say
I'm dreaming

Days rushing by like a river to the ocean
Wash me overboard
Time slips away, when it's gone it's gone forever
Wake me, wake me, wake me
Track Name: Stardust - bonus track - MM96 version
Sail Away
Twilight falls on me
Time is passing much too quickly for my soul
Winds of Change
Cliffs of Dover
I’ve seen the Fates and I am getting older

Byron, Keats
Shelley, Coleridge
Words of love and life will never fade away
Memories, songs that linger
Harmony of spheres let timbre catch my soul

It’s alright
It’s alright
It’s only stardust maybe
If we write and if we sing
We’ll live on through eternity
Tomorrow

I’ve seen the fall, rain and thunder
Patter on the rooftops of this golden age
Ships of gold, ivory towers
Falling in and out of favor endlessly

It’s alright, It’s alright
It’s only stardust maybe
If we write and if we sing
We’ll live on through eternity
Tomorrow

Scarlet sun, violet ocean blue
The palette of the spheres
Lay down in every hue
Fill my sails, warmest westerlies
Take me on and on and on into infinity

It’s alright, It’s alright
It’s only stardust maybe
If we write and if we sing
We’ll live on through eternity
Tomorrow