MORAINE – Metamorphic Rock


Streams of energetic music spring from everywhere in Metamorphic Rock. Moraine, here captured at the 2010 edition of NEARfest, are shaped by guitarist Dennis Rea (a known quantity that does not betray expectations), the impressive reed/violin duo of James and Alicia DeJoie, and the equally compelling rhythm section of bassist Kevin Millard and drummer Stephen Cavit. The on-stage setting definitely added to the overall high-octane drive, but there’s no questioning the band’s technical cojones as the basis of the success of this CD, a rare case of non-annoyance for this gradually live-despising reviewer. Progressive and Eastern spices appear as important factors in the mix, though Rea is a man able to find his way through numerous stylistic locations, his saturated tone filling the air decisively yet without extreme heaviness. The interaction between the violin and the saxophones – a compound of grittiness and silk characterizing a good number of vamps and designs – is perhaps the most beautiful facet. The rhythmic body is well chiselled, not missing a beat in any sense. The result is a convincing interlocking of Gong-spiced corporeality perfumed with slimly exotic melodic essences, occasionally enhanced by a somewhat unpromising temper reminiscent of far-famed themes – think John Barry meets Peter Gunn with a cross of (less aroused) Mahavishnu and Rush as backing band. Play loud and have fun, but don’t forget to notice the subtleties – there are many.

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