Magenta — Metamorphosis
(Laser's Edge LE1052, 2008, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-10-01
Magenta have all the right things going for them: talented musicians, good label support, a loyal fan base, and an intelligent approach to surviving as a prog band. They’ve carved out a niche for themselves with a modern symphonic sound that stays abreast of current trends without aping successful groups of the present or past. I was curious to see what road they would take following 2006’s Home / New York Suite releases. Would mastermind Rob Reed pursue the song-oriented narrative approach seen on Home, or would he return to the traditional prog rock of New York Suite? Or would he detour toward the kind of ultra-modern art-pop seen on his side project Chimpan-A? The answer is all of the above, though if anything Metamorphosis reminds me most of Home, even if two of the songs clock in at over 20 minutes. The lyrics, penned again by Reed’s brother Steve, reach for a more gritty realism than the band’s early fantastical opuses, and singer Christina Booth sounds better than ever (within her relatively narrow stylistic range.) Reed’s keyboards and guitars are the foundational glue that binds everything together with his synths and Chris Fry’s guitar work lighting an occasional fire under the material. I won’t say that Metamorphosis is a great album – there’s too little in the writing department that really sticks for me -- though I know there’s a healthy constituency for Magenta’s brand of prog and I have a feeling they’ll be pleased.
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more