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Manifest Density by Moraine

This vibrant Seattle-based quintet abides by a rather distinctive group-centric sound that draws upon the musicians’ influences, spanning electronics, jazz, jazz-fusion, progressive-rock and a consortium of styles. The beauty of it pertains to their multifarious aggregation of genres, all woven into a neatly packed program. They morph the best of various musical worlds here, amid turbulent strings passages, thrusting rhythms, and jubilantly executed melody lines.

The band conveys a myriad of emotive attributes via these resonating compositions. At times, they embark on a frenzied array of soloing jaunts, where everything in the band’s path is devoured. With traces of vintage, Jean-Luc Ponty style fusion along with the weighty impact of King Crimson, the artists inject resonating choruses, awash with cellist Ruth Davidson and violinist Alicia Allen’s streaming staccato lines. However, they soften the mix with eloquent phrasings, complemented by intriguing noise-shaping activities and guitarist Dennis Rea’s blistering crunch chords.

There’s a lot to sink your mind’s eye into here, but the ensemble equalizes the cerebral factors with hearty melodies and pumping jazz-rock grooves. They even project a bit of skronk into the program on "$9 Pay-per-View Lifetime TV Movie," where the rhythm section’s driving backbeats are treated by Rea’s explosive and wily guitar parts over the top. Here and throughout, the band generates memorable hooks as a means of contrasting the intense frameworks. And it works rather prolifically, since they seamlessly merge grace and power with a few endearing nods to the fabled 1970s Canterbury rock scene. A musical highlight for 2009, regardless of genre or rigid categorizations.... - Glenn Astarita

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Moraine
  • CD Title: Manifest Density
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: Moonjune Records
  • Musicians: Alicia Allen (violin), Ruth Davidson (cello), Jay Jaskot (drums), Kevin Millard (bass, baliset), Dennis Rea (guitar)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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