Metamora

Metamora

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It is unfortunate that the stylistic label "new age" is applied so liberally to any style of music that does not have a rock backbeat. This record does not sound "new age" at all. All three performers are clearly masters of their instruments, play them skillfully, and create a truly modern sound inflected with American and European folk. The songwriting itself is a bit immature; many pieces feel crudely stapled together. The band is playing with time signature a fair amount, but have not yet mastered the art of doing it smoothly -- when they play in an odd meter, it feels a little like walking with only one shoe on. What they have mastered is playing together as one unit, blending the sounds of their instruments in ways, for the most part, unheard of before. Dalglish's hammered dulcimer bears most of the responsibility for their unique sound, but Larsen and Sutherland add a complexity and intricacy to the music that Dalglish alone would be unable to provide. Not as mature as their other releases, but the freshness of the music more than compensates for its naïveté.

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