Moraine: Metamorphic Rock
Moraine is a Seattle based progressive rock band leaning towards the eclectic side of prog with more than a nudge towards jazz and fusion. Metamorphic Rock is the band's second release and documents their 2010 NEARfest performance in Bethlehem, PA.
The band is led by Dennis Rea on guitar and is joined by Alicia DeJoie (violin), James DeJoie (baritone saxophone, flute, percussion), Kevin Millard (NS/stick – 8 string bass) and Stephen Cavit (drums, percussion).
This is one of the more interesting releases I have heard in some time and the band has quite a unique sound. While this music may not be for everyone, there is a discordant nature at work here, there are some pretty riveting melodies. First and foremost this is a guitar album and Rea is able to generate many different sounds from his instrument. From clean notes to full out distortion, it is all here for your listening pleasure. The guitar phrases may be angular or more tuneful and his soloing ventures from compositional style to chaotic improvisation. He is also able to pull off some interesting effects as well. The rest of the band are equally proficient and I especially enjoyed DeJoie's violin work throughout the CD. Her imaginative playing, whether carrying the melody or going off on an improvisational tangent is quite intriguing.
The album begins with "Irreducible Complexity", all fuzzy tones and Eastern based riffs. This is eclectic progressive rock played at the highest level. Other highlights include the ten plus minute epics "Disillusioned Avatar" and "Disoriental Suite". The former features striking violin work, leisurely spacious segments and heavier improvisation while the latter carries an overall Eastern vibe with pretty violin and tasty guitar playing. I also dig the bluesy "Blues For A Bruised Planet" and the album ending "Middlebräu" featuring delicate guitar passages, flute and violin elements and a pretty outstanding drum solo to get things rolling.
I should also mention the recording sounds great too. At times I almost forgot I was listening to a concert CD.
If you are searching for something a little more challenging Metamorphic Rock just might do the trick. Recommended for fans of eclectic music everywhere.
1. Irreducible Complexity (3:39)
2. Manifest Destiny (3:45)
3. Save The Yuppie Breeding Grounds (4:02)
4. Disillusioned Avatar/Dub Interlude/Ephebus Amoebus (10:25)
5. Disoriental Suite (11:46)
b. Kan Hai De Re Zi
c. Views From Chicheng Precipice
6. Kuru (4:31)
7. The Okanogan Lobe (7:36)
8. Uncle Tang's Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (3:44)
9. Blues For A Bruised Planet (4:35)
10. Waylaid (5:31)
11. Middlebräu (9:09)
Added: December 14th 2011
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
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