Moraine – Metamorphic Rock

In a season when music is almost everywhere and most of it is inept Christmas blathering, it’s great to have your very own indulgent music art form to escape to. In our house that usually means only one thing, prog rock!

Nothing says holiday music be damned quite like progressive rock. Why have odes to snowy weather, candy canes and men in red suits when you can rock out to muscular grooves and insanely complex instrumentation? Let’s see any of the old school windbags scat their way around something this challenging.

Now not knowing where guitarist Dennis Rea and his cohorts in Moraine stand on the holiday music conundrum, it might be presumptuous to pull them into this us verses them argument but with the effort to travel the cosmos prevalent in their album Metamorphic Rock, I think they would at least embrace the idea.

The band’s latest is a live work recorded in 2010 at NEARfest (a progressive music festival held annually in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) and it provides an impressive antidote to any and all forms of generic music. Its mood is ever evolving and the experience is most liberating. Just when you think you have it figured out, it shifts in intent and direction in a most embracing way.

I’ll keep the trappings that make sense like mistletoe and brandy infused drinks but ditch most of the musical intrusions of this holiday season. Nothing resets the aural mind quite like a blast of sonic symbiosis. Thanks guys and Mazel Tov!

Rob Hudson

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