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Magenta - Metamorphosis CD (album) cover





3.70 | 199 ratings

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3 stars Magenta have been making easy to listen to Prog in the Symphonic vein for some time now, Metamorphosis being their fourth album. While I enjoy their music by Prog standards it's usually fairly light and undemanding with pleasant melodies in part down to Vocalist Christina Booth's lovely angelic tones. On Metamorphosis in many ways things remain the same musically but paradoxically in contrast the lyrics visit darker places with an overriding sense of death prevailing in them. Perhaps not quite a concept album but there does seem to be this theme of death running through the 4 tracks. Yes only 4 tracks but 2 of them are epics of 20 minutes or longer.

The first of these epics is The Ballad of Samuel Layne which is about a soldier going off to war to die leaving his bride behind; Perhaps the First World War? Despite already stating the easy listening style nature of Magenta's melodies, there is an attempt and not just on this track to make the music, at times at least match the darker lyrical qualities. In fact on this track, the title track (the other epic) and Blind Faith there are a few moments where the guitars are metallic in nature but I stress, a few. On Metamorphosis Christina's vocals while still retaining their sweet charm do successfully attempt to reach the depths of the lyrics where necessary. Much of the time though it's business as usual, with the lush keyboards and cleaner guitar of mainman and multi-instrumentalist Rob Reed taking a front seat. A tip of the hat to Lead Guitarist Chris Fry who does a good Steve Howe impression with some tasty soloing.

The 2 longer pieces are no doubt the highlight of the album but Prekestolen and Blind Faith are both enjoyable enough, the former having the distinction of featuring Uillean Pipes for added colour. Blind Faith is the better of the 2 featuring a particularly strong performance from Christina and musically having an enjoyable climatic build.

Metamorphosis is overall a very good album which I enjoyed very much though without being totally blown away by it. If you've enjoyed any of Magenta's music in the past it's one you'll certainly want to at least hear if not own but ultimately unlikely to convert anyone who hasn't succumbed to their charms in the past. Well worth 3 stars.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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