Patrick O'Hearn - Metaphor
by Gavin Stok June 1 1996
A "groove-orientated record filled with subtle, winding bass lines, exotic percussion, and haunting electronics" is what the press release described Metaphor to be, but could Patrick O'Hearn once again deliver a highly original and emotional record on his second release under his own label? The answer is yes and no.
Metaphor shows itself to be a progression upon Trust, his first release on Deep Cave Records. Using many of the instruments he has used on other albums, Patrick has placed much more emphasis on percussion and other sample loops including guitars and wind instruments. On Patience my Friend and Drive, he also appears to have used a modification of the piano pieces from those he used on the soundtrack White Sands. Let Truth Prevail stands out as the best track on the album, with the right combination of piano and electronic chords. Other commendations go to Patience my Friend, Crossing the Divide, Drive, and Faith and Endurance, which each combine the familiar Patrick O'Hearn traits while at the same time showing some of the new instrumentation and style he has brought to the album.
The irritating thing I found about Metaphor was that sometimes I found it hard to try and immerse myself into the atmosphere and emotion that the track was trying to convey due to the volume of the extra percussion and instrumentation. Perhaps because of the final mixing, I found the problem was most apparent in Peace Be With You and The Women of Lachaise. Fortunately the problem was less apparent in the second half of the album where some of the instrumentation is much more subdue.
Overall Metaphor is another fine piece of work by Patrick O'Hearn, showing signs of originality and progression from his other albums. Fans of Trust will not be disappointed and, as with his other works, Metaphor progressively sounds better with time. Given a slightly better mix, this would be one of the best new age albums thus far in 1996!
Postscript: Upon reading this review, Deep Cave Records decided to have no involvement with myself or this web site. Obviously feeling that this was a very negative review, the general manager denounced myself and everything I do through a series of e-mails. No details of exactly what offended the general manager were given despite my request for it. I find it personally disappointing to have a record company not able to accept criticism of any kind and to treat people in such a demeaning manner if they receive such criticism. I recommend any aspiring artists not to choose Deep Cave Records for this reason. As a consequence of Deep Cave Records' actions, this site has no links to its web site, and will unfortunately no longer be able to obtain and review Patrick's wonderful work.