Review by Gatot (Gatot Widayanto)
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator
I agree with Tarcisio Moura that when you were bit disappointed (including myself) with Magenta previous “Home” album, you should not worry with this “Metamorphosis” album as, I think, the band has returned to its form. I might say that this album is in a good comparison with first two albums “Revolutions” (2001) and “Seven” (2004). It took four years for the band to come back to their original creativity even though the music of Magenta is nothing original. There was “Home” in between two excellent albums “Seven” and “Metamorphosis”. The central mastermind of Magenta is Rob Reed and I think most of you would agree with me that this latest release by Magenta is much better than “Home”.
Back to their original concept …
There are basically two epic tracks “The Ballad Of Samuel Layne” (20:17) and “Metamorphosis” (23:15) that build this album plus two short tracks “Prekestolen” and “Blind Faith”. The first time I played this album, I was not hooked right away especially on the melody that did not seem to catch my attention. However, I did believe that the composition was good as the music moved beautifully from one passage to another in natural way. I finally found what inhibit me for enjoying the music, it’s basically my expectation that the melody should flow something that I want and each passages must have catchy elements like Marillion did in “Misplaced Childhood” where every piece of music is catchy. But when I gave up this expectation, it grew on me gradually and until four spin I could sense the music nicely.
Like “The Ballad Of Samuel Layne” (20:17), it indicates that they can write and perform excellent epic where the styles are different from one passage to another. I can sense the energy of Christina in moving the music energetically accompanied by excellent combination of notes produced by keyboard, guitar and accentuated by drums. The first 6 minutes of the track demonstrates how Christina is one of the best prog vocalist. The music flows dynamically from one passage to another with great intertwining roles of keyboard solo as well as guitar. One thing I observe excellent is the bass guitar and drumwork. All in all when I play the album loud, I can nanturally enjoy the music from start to end.
“Prekestolen” (03:43) is also a nice track and it does not show that this is a filler because I expected that this would be. “Metamorphosis” (23:15) is an excellent epic which starts grandiose with soft guitar solo followed by a blast of music that brings Christina’s voice enters the epic. What happen is then a nice musical riffs by guitar overlaid beautifully with an electric orchestration. There are accentuation of the music during this track with some musical breaks that reminds me to ELP and Yes. Bass guitar playing reminds me to those played by Chris Squire of Yes. The long sustain keyboard work at the back in the vein of Yes’s “Heart of The Sunrise” makes the music sounds truly symphonic. There asre passages with stunning keyboard work. There are some passages with spacey keyboard effects. Drumming s also great! The album concludes nicely with “Blind Faith” (6:01) which has acoustic guitar work. But later the music includes electric guitar riffs.
Overall, this album is better than pervious “Home” (2006) and deserves a four star rating. Keep on proggin’ ..
Peace on earth and mercy mild – GW