Exposé Online banner

Magenta — Metamorphosis
(Laser's Edge LE1052, 2008, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-10-01

Metamorphosis Cover art

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.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2008 releases

Related artist(s): Magenta, Rob Reed

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Art Cinema - Art Cinema – Unlike most other projects directed by multi-instrumentalist and bandleader Robin Taylor (those being Taylor’s Universe, Taylor’s Free Universe, and numerous solo endeavors) which tend to be...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues