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Maraton - Meta

Maraton
Meta
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 07 May 2019, 5:07 AM

Founded in 2010 in Oslo, Norway, MARATON is a Progressive Rock band with influences ranging from Pop acts A-HA and MUSE, to the Prog act LEPROUS. “Meta” is the band’s debut album, and contains nine tracks. “Seismic” leads off the album, with an easy listening sound. It’s a bit depressing, kind of like LEPROUS. The Pop elements come from a lack of discernible guitar riffs, Instead, the vocals, bass and keys lead the sound. I am not a big fan of the falsetto but it works. “Blood Music” has a little more meat to it, with a charging guitar riff and bass notes from the start. The Progressive elements come into play as they deftly negotiate the guitar and bass strikes, while the vocals ooze with beauty.

“Prime” opens with some steady bass and drum strikes and some background ambiance. From there in ventures into the darkness a bit, with some Proggy meter shifting. It stays dark and heavy throughout, taking you on a journey of sorts. “Change of Skin” opens with a soft soundscape, almost like a Post Rock song. But pretty quickly, guitars and bass attack in a staccato attack. The vocals are dreamy and ethereal. It has a strange sound overall, almost like playful music in a circus. “Altered State” opens with a Djenty rhythm, reminding me of TESSERACT. The vocals are done in a sad and melancholy way, with more falsetto here and there. The bass and guitar work in a perfect rhythm however.

“Body Double” opens with a flurry of bass, guitar and drum strikes, flexing their muscles in a speedy passage. I’m afraid it’s a bit pretentious sounding at times, with the vocals being a bit overly dramatic compared to the contrasting instruments.  “The Manifest Content” is a slower, and more melancholic sound…the heavy rhythms are gone in favor of sad musings and a little more barren sound. The vocals are poignant and expressive and the sound here is much easier to access. “Mosaic” opens with fuzzy electronica, before bass and guitar join in a hypnotic rhythm, with a bit of dissonance. The sound really opens up in the chorus however, bringing all elements together. “Spectral Friends” closes the album, with some electronica and attacking style instruments, leading to a full sound, along with some pensive vocals along the way. It waxes and wanes throughout, never fully committing to one style over the other.

Overall, this was a very unique album, seemingly blending styles like an alchemist blending chemicals. At times it was harsh and aggressive, while other times it was smooth and easy listening. When they want to, they can bend time with the best of them, but don’t let this be the main element on the album. Obviously skilled musicians, the have taken to emotional highs and lows being at the center of the album, creating an unexampled listening experience that I think all fans of Progressive Rock will enjoy.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Seismic
2. Blood Music
3. Prime
4. Change of Skin
5. Altered State
6. Body Double
7. The Manifest Content
8. Mosaic
9. Spectral Friends
Lineup:
Frank Røe
Fredrik Bergersen Klemp
Vegard Liverød
Jon Vegard Næss
Magnus Johansen
Record Label: Indie Recordings
     


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