Methera, Vortex. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision rating * * * *

To look into the Vortex is perhaps to either suffer the ensuing madness of the Universe or to see the pattern of the daring, the beautiful and the artful. Either state of mind is to know that there are forces out there that can be manipulated, can be staged and controlled but they can never be as celebrated or admired in the same way, they are swirls of artistry and beauty and ones that capture the imagination to its fullest.

For their tenth anniversary Methera release a Vortex that not only swirls but glides, rotates with a sense of majesty and freedom and one that is neatly presented as the acoustic Celtic art; an art that combines the feeling of being mesmerised, gently overpowered and elusive, like a whirlwind that cannot be tamed, captured, its fragility its strength and cannot ever restrained.

The magical mix of Lucy Deakin’s cello, John Dipper and Emma Reid’s fiddle and Miranda Rutter’s viola turn the album into a disciplined and creative endeavour that shakes the tree of complacent thought and with the natural air of Celtic drive makes the Vortex bow and bend, become supple and generous, a treat which delves deep and into the rhythm that the band have allowed themselves to feel.

In tracks such as Rising Sun, Da Shaalds, Ramsegubben and Love Lies Bleeding, the band recognise the importance of placing the traditional and much admired recording in amongst the new and enlightening compositions that are creative, influential and cast iron and perfectly played.

In some eyes tradition can be a dirty word, it doesn’t sit in the realm of the revolutionary heart with ease, it is something to be overthrown, overhauled, left in the rain and allowed to be destroyed quickly rather than rust in peace and solitude. Yet tradition is what life is built upon and whilst some of it is an ugly reminder of what causes us to be repressed, damaged by our own self opinions, tradition in the hands of those who possess the gift for flair and imagination, for music and art, is to be treasured, in Methera. The Vortex left by the dismissal of tradition is to know that the swirling clouds of honest passion is colourful, demanding and sweet to the ear.

Vortex is a delicate album which knows no boundaries; appealing and gracious, a charming reflection in a maelstrom of modern day tired illusion.

Ian D. Hall