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Axon-Neuron Metamorphosis album cover
3.88 | 64 ratings | 2 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (46:13)
1. Prelude I (6:28)
2. Euclid (4:31)
3. Suspicions (5:48)
4. Shattered (5:58)
5. Koan (3:42)
6. Eyes (6:04)
7. Erasure (5:54)
8. Postlude I (7:48)

CD 2 (57:52)
9. Prelude II (7:25)
10. Silence (7:23)
11. Kronos (7:35)
12. Summit (8:00)
13. Keepsakes (6:40)
14. Kafka (7:43)
15. Eulogy (4:53)
16. Postlude II (8:13)

Total time 104:05

Line-up / Musicians

- Amanda Rankin / vocals
- Ryan McDermott / 6-string electric guitar, vocals (5)
- Jeremey Poparad / 6- (10,15) & 9-string electric guitars, acoustic guitar (5), mandolin (10), electric bass, glockenspiel, vocals (5), composer, mixing
- Steven Miller / keyboards, vocals (5)
- Dylan Gomez / percussion, vocals (5)

- Corey Haren / vocals (5)
- Molly Bontrager / 1st violin
- Jane Reed / 1st violin
- Becca Hall / 2nd violin
- Sarah Husak / 2nd violin
- Jamie Thornberg / viola
- Jamie Vaughn / viola
- Dan Peters / cello
- Miles Richardson / cello
- Ryan Critchfield / bass
- Parry Lopez / bass
- Bryan Thomas / bass
- Ian Wenz / flute
- Laura Lazarites / oboe
- Brad Wagner / clarinet
- Jayne Naragon / bass clarinet
- Michael Willard / 1st trumpet
- Mark Russo / 2nd trumpet
- Phil Tryon / F horn
- Aaron Thornberry / trombone
- Scott Thomas / percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Mara Fragge

2xCDr self-released (2016, US)

Digital album

Thanks to sagichim for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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AXON-NEURON Metamorphosis ratings distribution

(64 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (11%)

AXON-NEURON Metamorphosis reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Classic symphonic prog of the first order from Ohio's Jeremey Poparad and company, they possess a sound somewhere in the same ballpark with Germany's FREQUENCY DRIFT, Sweden's INTROITUS and Norway's WHITE WILLOW due in part to the presence of exceptional female lead vocalist in Amanda Rankin--though her singing style is more akin to that of THIEVES' KITCHEN's Amy DARBY. The guitar sound is a bit deeper, djenty--probably due to the presence of composer/producer Jeremey Poparad's 9-string electric guitar and full, deep bass sound. All songs are incredibly well constructed, recorded, performed and possess wonderful melodic and harmonic sensibilities.

CD1 1. "Prelude I" (6:28) is a classical music composition performed by acoustic orchestral instruments. (9/10)

2. "Euclid" (4:31) opens with harp-like arpeggi before a metal band orients us in a different direction. Djenty yet melodic, we are quickly introduced to the Amy DARBY-like vocal stylings of singer Amanda Rankin. The song breaks into several sections, though all continue to revolve around variations of the central arpeggiated chord progression from the intro. Brilliant! (9/10)

3. "Suspicions" (5:48) again structures itself around variations on a gentle four-chord jazz progression that is established in the opening--which is beautiful and hypnotic. Amanda's vocals here are her first attempt to get grungy--which doesn't work very well. Her voice is too pure and crystalline to rough up. Still, the song has many memorable and haunting elements that make it rise above the mis-matched vocal choices. Nice drumming and keyboard work on this one. (9/10)

4. "Shattered" (5:58) opens with plucked bass and upper octave piano play setting up for Amanda's delicate vocal. The song shifts into second gear at the one minute mark, and then into third with full band and orchestral instruments shortly thereafter. Nice jazz guitar leads throughout the song. The arpeggiated piano chord progression is quite lovely, quite engaging. Amanda's melody line, as well. At 3:20 things shift into a heavier gear. Nice! I find realizing that I wish Amanda's vocal had been mixed differently in the sonic field--more full and slightly forward. Nice electric guitar soli at the end of the fifth minute. This could be a masterpiece! (9/10)

5. "Koan" (3:42) opens with some nice acoustic guitar picking, over which Amanda begins singing in her upper registers. Quite lovely. As the full band and orchestral instruments join in I am definitely feeling the genius of this "big band" approach. This is a classy old-time jazz song with some modern instrumental twists. In fact, it is the orchestral strings and not the vintage and modern rock/jazz instruments that steal the show on this one. One of my favorites! (10/10)

6. "Eyes" (6:04) for the first two minutes contains some trip-hoppy drum sequences playing beneath the more constant presence of some floating plucked guitar chords and Amanda's singing. Then the music breaks into a more jazz-metal flow with lots of picking, plucking of strings while Amanda continues doing her Amy DARBY thing. At 4:00 the weave begins to sound like a DEVY TOWNSEND wall while Amanda's now treated voice falls a little back in the mix. Dreamy! At 5:00 things return briefly to the more dynamic, voice forward sound, before falling back into the dreamy style to the song's end. (9/10)

7. "Erasure" (5:54) opens as a duet with Jeremey's picked electric guitar and Amanda's voice. At the one minute mark the song kicks into a more poppy, almost Latino style while Amanda continues her story telling in and interesting alternating middle and low voice style. The instrumental portion of the third minute finds a much more jazzy Latin-like style with the use of several more complicated time signatures. The final minute of guitar weaving sounds again like a milder, less processed version of DEVIN TOWNSEND. (9/10)

8. "Postlude I" (7:48) opens with synth strings and orchestra instruments playing a beautiful stop-and-go, flow- between-octaves song. Glockenspiel and woodwinds take the leads during the first two minutes, but then low range winds take over before oboe and violins take their turns. In the fourth minute French horn horn-led horn section next get their say. Bassoons, flutes, and clarinets get a turn around the five minute mark. Beautiful melodies and harmonies are presented and woven in and out of simple and many-layered weaves throughout the course of this gorgeous piece of music. (10/10)

Using the now institutional Fishermetrics, the first CD with a total time of 46:13 is alone worthy of the "masterpiece" status.

CD2 1. "Prelude II" (7:25) continues the previous disc's pattern by opening with a composition that is composed and performed by a full orchestra. Percussion and pulsing lower strings notes establish the almost PHILLIP GLASS foundation over which violins and woodwinds play their weave of melodies. A more Baroque sound establishes itself in the third minute before making way for a more theatric, liturgical sparsely instrumented sound around 3:30. AT 4:20 we are returned to the more modern sounds and structures of the opening. It reminds me of NORTH SEA RADIO ORCHESTRA's "Berliner Luft" or "Mitte der Welt." Beautiful piece! (10/10)

2. "Silence" (7:23) opens with warmly picked electric guitar with accompaniment of trilling strings. The melody established feels quite theatric--as if we are getting ready to see an emotional love scene from Brigadoon or The King and I. Amanda's entry and presence confirms this as she gives us the warmest, most emotional performance of the album (thus far). The Post Rock-like drumming and full strings accompaniment are highlights, again. The piano solo in the fourth minute is too cheezy--over the top. Luckily Amanda's stunning performance helps us to quickly forget this. In my opinion, this is the first song in which the instrumental soli have negatively affected the overall outcome of the song, one in which the vocal could have been left to more sparse accompaniment. Amazing performance, Amanda. Amazing orchestral arrangement, Jeremey. Maybe that's all you should have concentrated on. (9/10)

3. "Kronos" (7:35) is my favorite song on the album. It has a WHITE WILLOW-FREQUENCY DRIFT like feel to it with Kashikura TAKASHI (TOE)-like drumming, CHICK COREA-like keyboard work, James Bond murder-mystery-like orchestration, and Amanda Rankin's beautiful vocal work (which, again, I find myself wishing were mixed more prominently into the soundscape). (10/10)

4. "Summit" (8:00) has the musical feel of a good OCEANSIZE song. This may be the best progressive rock song on the album. The guitar and bass interplay is remarkable for the precision of their 'conversations'. Neither the lyric nor the vocal add much; this could've been a great instrumental. (9/10)

5. "Keepsakes" (6:40) opens with some delicate percussion play into which a few sparse keyboard and guitar noises and/or chords are mixed. A delicate, slow, breathy vocal by Amanda Rankin ensues which is mirrored, note-for- note, by a heavily chorused lead electric guitar. Crazed jazzy electric piano play is going on beneath. Brilliant song! So unique and unusual! Psychedelic. On display here is yet more of diversely creative genius of everyone of these musicians and songwriters. Amazing! (10/10)

6. "Kafka" (7:43) is the only song that really doesn't work for me--and this is true on multiple levels. There are so many things going on, so many different styles and sounds, and, for some reason, they just don't gel as well as one would hope. A bit like a Dan Britton (CEREBUS EFFECT, DELUGE GRANDER, BIRDS & BUILDINGS, ALL OVER EVERYWHERE) song: Proggy but a little too esoteric. (7/10)

7. "Eulogy" (4:53) gets the prog back on track with a nice prog ballad in the Bill GILLHAM/CIRRUS BAY style. (9/10)

8. "Postlude II" (8:13) closes the second album out with another classical piece. Performed by orchestra, this one opens in a kind of DELIUS/ELGAR/BRITTEN pastoral style before detouring into a full-on blues-rock dirge--a folky version of a Clapton song, perhaps. Beautiful metaphor for the stylistic melange that is the entirety of this beautiful album. Well done, Ohio! (Nice vocal, Amanda! Nice guitar lead, Ryan! Amazing composition, Jeremey!) (10/10)

A stunningly original and mature album. I consider this a veritable masterpiece of eclectic and/or symphonic progressive rock and yet I can see where this band and its composer/producer have room to grow. Can't wait to see what they bring in the future!

Without question this is a five star album; a masterpiece of progressive rock music.

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Report this review (#2023492) | Posted by SteveConrad | Sunday, September 9, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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