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MoeTar - Entropy Of The Century CD (album) cover

ENTROPY OF THE CENTURY

MoeTar

 

Crossover Prog

3.62 | 26 ratings

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Windhawk
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US band MOETAR was formed back in 2008, with vocalist Moorea Dickason and bassist Tarik Ragab the initial core of the band. They released their debut album back in 2010, and in a fairly short amount of time they had managed to create enough of a buzz around them that they were signed to US label Magna Carta Records, who reissued their debut album in 2012. "Entropy of the Century" is their second full length production, and was released in 2014.

The bands self-description mentions that their aim is to "create catchy, yet complex, music that attempts to make sense of our confusing world." That is a most apt description I think, a concise summary of what this band is truly all about. The catchy factor mainly boils down to one element though, in my point of view at least, and to be able to enjoy this quirky potpourri of multiple stylistic traditions a certain affection for that element is needed.

In terms of style this band has been labelled in an intriguing manner of ways, and when listening to an albums worth of material by them deciding just where to place them isn't the easiest of tasks you might get. Just about all the songs tends to revolve around alternating accessible and challenging sections, where the former can be in a myriad of different styles while the latter tends to revolve around a jazz or avant-oriented approach, at times combining both of these elements. With everything from gentle piano ballads to majestic guitar and organ combinations bordering hard rock for the accessible parts of the compositions, the idiom of "the only rule there is no rule" seems to apply, and as for the challenging escapades they typically involve challenging instrument movements and more of a dissonant and sometimes chaotic expression. A touch of Zappa might be present here and there, possibly a slight taste of free jazz tinged elements may appear from time to time, but whether it's any of those or sections beyond the scope of both, they are just about all challenging to get your ears and brain around.

The key element that binds this all together, and most often impressively so, is the vocal talent of Moorea Dickason. She has a strong, powerful and emotional laden voice, one that at the most impressive is so spellbinding that you don't really take too much notice about anything else happening. This may be at least part of the reason why I find the opening half of this album to be fairly flawless, as I even after numerous listens are just so floored by the sheer talent of the lead vocals in those first half dozen of compositions. My notes and memory tries telling me that it's also because the more challenging escapades weren't quite as challenging or not taking up quite as much play time in those compositions, but that may just be a side effect of finding the vocals so mightily impressive in that initial half.

It probably goes without saying that I wasn't quite as enthralled by the second half of this disc of course. My notes and my memory conveys that these compositions, starting with We Machines, came across as a bit more stilted, not quite as powerful on an emotional level, arguably a tad more technical and with more numerous or elongated sections of escapades of a more challenging nature. This is probably much more a subjective experience rather than an unbiased fact of course, and while not quite as breathtaking these are still creations that are highly charming in their own right as well. It is, for the most part, the difference between great and brilliant.

At the end of the day my impression is that MoeTar is a band that will have a finite appeal, as their compositions tends to feature sections that is rather challenging and that does take some time getting used to. The big draw are the vocals of Moorea Dickason though, she is a dominating presence throughout, and you truly need to like her vocals to be able to enjoy this band. In fact, I suspect that quite a few people enjoy this band despite their music and because of her vocals, as she is a top notch vocalist on just about any level you can imagine. If you have an affection for challenging music combined with quality lead vocals in general and female lead vocals in particular, MoeTar is a band that merits a check, and this second album of theirs is as good a place to start as anywhere else really.

Windhawk | 4/5 |

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