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(56:38; Progressive Promotion Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Dark World 7:39 2. I'm Not a Hero 6:16 3. Little Stars Desintegrate 7:26 4. When Life Starts Again 3:41 5. More Is Less 6:43 6. I Will Leave Tonight 6:44 7. Leftovers 7:02 8. So Now What 4:16 9. So Hard's the Road 6:51 LINEUP : Jean-Pierre Schenk - vocals, keyboards Olivier Guenat - guitars, bass Alain Widmer - drums
Prolusion. Swiss band METAMORPHOSIS was formed back in 2001, and in their initial phase they released new material at a steady pace. In later years their production speed have slowed down a bit, with their previous album appearing back in 2016. "I'm Not a Hero" is their latest studio production, and was released in the summer of 2021 through German label Progressive Promotion Records.
Analysis. The music of Metamorphosis is a dark and atmospheric laden one, and the latter aspect is such a dominant presence throughout that a neo-progressive rock categorization is one that comes rather natural. As with many other bands in this part of the progressive rock universe there is a bit more to this production than the typical sounds of a band categorized in this manner, and it is the emphasis on the atmospheric laden aspects of the songs that is the common denominator with other bands categorized in a similar manner. The music here is dark, as mentioned, and to the point of being ominous at times too. While gentler passages sporting more careful keyboards, plucked guitar details and sparse arrangements are used to good effect in most songs, it is the contrasting sections that literally makes more of an impact. Dark and at times dramatic guitars, majestic soaring layered keyboards as well as darker toned underlying keyboard textures and the occasional haunting tones of the Mellotron combine to craft soundscapes with a borderline nightmarish feel, and bordering a hard progressive rock orientation at times too. Even the calmer sections will at times have a ghostly supplemental keyboard presence or a darker underlying presence by way of keyboards or a more developed bassline, and dramatic impact riffs are used to good effect in some of the calmer passages as well. The mainly lighter toned vocals serves as a good contrast and as an emotional provider throughout, and the often sharper and cutting guitar solo runs adds a different level and variety of contrast to the proceedings.
Conclusion. The core of this band are veteran musicians, and it is easy to hear that these are musicians that have been around for some time. The use of contrasting and alternating passages as well as contrasting sounds in the arrangements is the main drive of this production, used to elevate tension and emphasize moods and atmospheres in a most efficient manner. And while this isn't a production to put on when there is a light and sunny day to enjoy, those who enjoy reflection and find accessible and atmospheric laden dark progressive rock to be generally interesting will get a lot out of this album. A production to seek out by those who love and treasure a darker, harder and dramatic variety of neo-progressive rock.
Progmessor: August 2021
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