Fort Wayne’s Metavari are the champions of the long-awaited follow-up. Since their first album in 2009, the band has been writing, recording and reforming, and their sophomore album, Moonless, is a proud display of how far they’ve come since their debut.
Moonless is largely instrumental, even when that extra layer of lyrical dimension is excluded, nothing in the album feels redundant. Metavari find ways of speaking in their work without the use of words (and I imagine it can be difficult to truly get a message across without quite literally stating it). Looking for a light, bubbly tone? Enter the xylophone. Going to try something that feels heavier, perhaps more melancholy? Add in some overbearing, heavy synth. Moonless is very aware of what it wants you to feel and accomplishes that goal song after song.
Occasionally, a guest vocalist joins Metavari, and although those moments are few and far between, they’re certainly great. New Terrors joins the band on opening track “Heavy Love” with synth-drenched vocals that fit into their electronic soundscape without question. “Heavy Love” feels as carefully constructed as I can only assume it was, with intricate instrumentation, slow builds, contrasting wide open spaces with tight, layered pieces, and abrupt endings, leaving the listener with a great sense of anticipation for the album ahead.
“See Again” featuring Chelsey Scheffe is a cinematic, near operatic piece, glossy and gorgeous in every way possible. It’s an infinitely catchy track that marries Chelsea’s vocals with electronic instrumentation, eliciting swoons from music bloggers nationwide.
Always a fan of the more playful side of electronic music, it was no surprise that my favorites included the very danceable tracks “Awake as One” and “Be Free (Tonight)”. As much as I loved “Awake as One” and found myself continually falling back to that track, it is followed by another that’s just as good – “Irresistible”. Short and sweet, the track is a bouncing electronic piece that transitions effortlessly into a bass-driven pop rock tune with twice the energy.
Moonless, and Metavari for that matter, is for fans of bands like Purity Ring, Absofacto, and Dream Attics, for fans of bands with dreamy, atmospheric tendencies that just want to get lost in the world the band composes for them. The album is well-orchestrated, well-thought out, and well-composed. It has an incredible sense of depth, both aurally and in its message. Start to finish, there’s not a dull moment.
In fewer words, what I’m trying to say is “put this in your ears”.
As far as the electronic genre is concerned, Moonless is a well-rounded and inspiring album. As far as music is concerned, Moonless is a well-rounded and inspiring album – the point of that being that it might be easy to make assumptions based on genre, but this album is truly a step above the rest. This album makes me melt; give it a chance to make you melt, too.
Metavari is Nathaniel David Utesch and Ty Brinneman.