Switzerland, the land of beautiful mountains, the land of the watch industry, the land of cheese, but not the land with a wide progressive rock landscape. In my own collection I have albums of Clepsydra, Cosmos, Deyss and Irrwisch. I always found it rather typical that these bands are pretty good, but don't have a real own style. Most of these bands are more or less a clone of their example. As I said, that isn't a big deal.
Metamorphosis debut album After All These Years was released in 2002. Actually Metamorphosis wasn't a band but a project. Jean-Pierre Schenk was the spiritual father. He wrote all the tracks and he played all the instruments on all the tracks. Mostly bass guitar and drums were programmed and also digital. On the following three albums he took the same recipe. Many progressive rock sites reviewed the albums with the follow comments: Metamorphosis sounds like Pink Floyd (modern style), RPWL, Porcupine Tree and Riverside.
I must confess that I never put effort in this project and never ever had heard one song from the album.
When I got the album, I saw something strange. In the booklet Metamorphosis are: Jean-Pierre Schenk (vocals, additional keyboards), Gabrielle Maeder (keyboards), Olivier Guenat (guitars), Thierry Guillod (bass guitar), Alain Widmer (drums).
Jean-Paul Schenk had created a real band. His own role was “minimized” to vocals and additional keyboards. The most of the music he left for his new band members. Metamorphosis had grown to something completely new, a real band.
When I first listened to the album The Turning Point I was in some state of shock. The first song Can An Angel Bring Me Back From Death To Life (Part I) starts with a wonderful dark atmosphere. A dark voice says that he wanted to be brought alive from death. Heavy guitar riffs are kicking off this album. After several minutes these guitar walls are replaced by fine-, melodic guitar sounds. These sounds remind me of RPWL. This first song fades away and slides into the next song The Turning Point, the title track. Once more heavy guitar opens the song. The vocals in this song are typical “German/ English”. Schenk has a lovely accent and his vocals reminds me of Yogi Lang of RPWL. The dark sound colour of his voice fits the music and the theme of the album.
Can An Angel Bring Me Back From Death To Life (Part II) is mostly down tempo. It is remarkable that the keyboards are mixed to the background in most of the songs. On former albums the keyboards were more important. After three songs my conclusion is clear, Metamorphosis is a real band.
What Do I Do Now is a real up tempo song. Guitar(s) are taking the lead. Olivier Guenat is a real revelation for me, his playing is incredible and he completely has his own sound. Vocals in this song are low tempo and still dark. In the end section of this track a great guitar solo, which I was waiting for, was top of the bill. Guenat plays if he had have lessons from John Mitchell, my absolute guitar hero.
Hold The Time is one of my favorite songs. It is less complex than the other songs, but the refrain is so catchy that it sings around in my head for a long while. Once more the guitar parts are brilliant. They are some sort of mix between John Mitchell and David Gilmour.
Zahra is a nice-, melodic epic song. I taste a lot of RPWL influences. It has beautiful low tempo parts, vocals which remind me of Yogi Lang, and great keyboard- and guitar parts which duel with each other.
Nobody's No One starts with guitar walls. After a while lingering parts with nice vocals are matched with fine guitar riffs. The mid-section of this song is low tempo. It is also very dark. All instruments are in their darkest positions. The vocals are distorted, this creates a weird sound.
The album ends with Now It's Clear. A piano intermezzo with modest vocals to end this sublime album.
Metamorphosis has surprised me with this great album. If you like Pink Floyd, RPWL or Riverside, I think you will appreciate this album. For me there is just one thing I can do, give this album 5 points!
***** Aad Bannink (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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