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Magenta - Metamorphosis CD (album) cover





3.70 | 206 ratings

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4 stars In another obvious tribute to bands and music of the past, Magenta release this 2008 album with not one but two epics of over 20 minutes in length. The first, the album's opener, "The Ballad of Samuel Layne" (20:17) is a satisfying, upbeat, melodic, easy going piece that seems to be about the psycho-spiritual perspectives of a battlefield death of an average Joe soldier--maybe from World War I or even the Iraqi and Afghani conflicts. The "heavier" instrumental section that begins at the eight minute mark is quite good as are Christina Booth's fairly laid-back vocals throughout. The second half drags on a bit---especially the "we are all forsaken" section--but overall this is a very nice musical journey with plenty of interesting instrumental and compositional choices. (9/10) 2. "Prekestolen" (3:36) flows straight out of the end of "Samuel Layne" with synth background, delicate guitar, bass, and keyboard sequenced percussion sounds. It has a bit of a Peter Gabriel "San Jacinto" feel to it--even when Christina joins in with her singing. Troy Donockely's Uilleann pipes take it into a slightly different direction, but the song ends with a still eery PG feel/sound. (8/10) 3. "Metamorphosis" (23:15) opens so much like the Big Big Train 'heavy' sound that will become so familiar in the 2010s. The Yes and Genesis nods are frequent and flagrant--and yet Rob Reed's work is superb--and contains just enough of his own flair and flourish to not feel plagiaristic. 4. "Blind Faith" (6:22) is probably my favorite song on the album. Nice atmospherics, alternating with heavy bridges and a melodic chorus--quite catchy hooks, too--not unlike the Massive Attack "Pearldrops" song used for the theme of the tv show "House." (10/10)

If you can get past the familiar feel and sound that is so common to the Neo Prog subgenre, this is quite a nice album.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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