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Metamorphic Rock by Moraine

This Seattle-based progressive-rock outfit offers a refreshing perspective on a multifaceted genre, where cherished stylizations from the past are merged with a futuristic outlook. Following up the celebrated 2009 Moonjune Records debut manifest deNsity, Moraine's energetic attack and deterministic focus parlays into a vibrant live setting recorded at North East Art Rock Festival (NEARfest) 2010, in Bethlehem, PA.

Moraine is a band that doesn't look back, which is a sensibility that translates into a hard-hitting but fluid set. By incorporating grace and power into its arsenal, the ensemble's buoyancy is lightly dappled with jazz and classical elements. Here, violinist Alicia DeJoie's streaming parts and James DeJoie's blustery baritone sax and whispery flute lines impart an additional dimension to the forceful rock pulses and tricky time signatures.

Dennis Rea's scorching crunch chords and fluent single note licks are designed with odd-phrasings and a prominently transmitted sense of the dynamic. Moreover, the band alternates themes and integrates tuneful melodies in the largely, harmonious arrangements. However, diversity is a key component, evidenced by Rea's Asian influences on the enchanting "Disoriented Suite."

Throughout the intertwining movements, the musicians execute crashing cadenzas and a tension-building scenario via undulating currents and thematic reconstructions. And on "Uncle Tang's Cabinet of Dr. Caligari," the band injects a hardcore jazz-rock element, featuring contrapuntal choruses, interweaving improvisational segments, and free-form burnouts. Yet, they spawn pastoral treatments amid a pleasant hook during the finale, "Middlebrau."

Moraine carries the torch for a newly envisioned era of progressive-rock. Hence, the artists unite the best of many musical worlds into a group-centric characterization that bears a clearly defined mark of authenticity.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Moraine
  • CD Title: Metamorphic Rock
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2011
  • Record Label: Moonjune Records
  • Musicians: Stephen Cavit: drums, percussion Alicia DeJoie: violin James DeJoie: baritone saxophone, flute, percussion Kevin Millard: NS/Stick (8-string extended-range bass) Dennis Rea: guitar
  • Rating: Five Stars
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