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Moraine - Groundswell CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.79 | 19 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars MORAINE are a five piece band out of Seattle who play an Avant style of instrumental music. Lots of violin in this one but also flute, baritone sax, guitar, bass and drums. My favourite sections are those where they sort of drive off of the road in a musical sense and forge their own path. Love those experimental passages.

"Mustardseed" has this solemn beat to start with sax as the violin starts to play over top. Things turn experimental after 1 1/2 minutes with electronics. So cool as it sounds like they have just deconstructed what they just built. A great way to begin. "Skein" has a nice bass intro as drums, sax then violin join in. This is more uptempo than the opener. The guitar starts to solo just before one minute then it's the sax taking over that role a minute later, then violin. Themes are repeated then it's more powerful late to end it. The bass, violin and sax are outstanding in the melodic "Fountain Of Euthanasia". It calms right down after a minute then it starts to pickup and build. This is good. "Gnashville" is such a great title and the music is just as good. Lots of deep sounds as the violin plays over top. It settles back but not for long. Check out the left of center violin before 2 minutes and the guitar that follows. Nice. We get back to that earlier sound after 3 minutes. "In That Distant Place" is laid back to start with violin playing over top. It's almost dreamy when it settles back even more with the sax replacing the violin. The violin is back after 3 minutes then it kicks into a much higher gear after 4 1/2 minutes with guitar taking the lead and it sounds amazing.

"Synecdoche" has more of a "Rock" flavour to start with the drums and guitar leading. Sax and violin join in. The baritone sax sounds so good 1 1/2 minutes in, then the guitar solos as the drums and bass pound it out. Sax replaces the guitar then it's the violin's turn late. "The Earth Is An Atom" is a catchy mid-paced tune with plenty of violin and sax. It settles back after 2 minutes with the violin leading the way. Guitar to the fore around 3 1/2 minutes and it's angular! The sax is back late then we get a big finish. "Waylaid" has this violin melody that has got stuck in my head several times over the last week and half. It comes and goes in this one and we get plenty of bass and sax as well. It calms right down 1 1/2 minutes in with the violin becoming experimental and this section lasts until around the 6 minute mark when that earlier theme returns to end it. "Spiritual Gatecrasher" is another great title and this is my favourite track. Bass to start as flute then violin join in in this mellow intro. The flute is fantastic, very expressive, and I love that the bass is prominant throughout. Lots of atmosphere here as well. Mournful violin replaces the flute but the flute returns late. "The Okanogan Lobe" opens with guitar before it turns fuller rather quickly. It settles back with violin out front but this is brief. Sax then leads the way when it kicks back in as themes become repeated. I like when the guitar starts to solo 5 1/2 minutes in. Great track!

If your really into violin driven music then you need to check this album out, but this will satisfy most of you adventerous listeners out there. A solid 4 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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