Sometimes it's very strange that still nowadays certain albums are discovered which seemed to be coming out of nowhere. The true undiscovered lost or hidden gems so to speak. Well maybe this release from the American act Metaphysical Animation is such a release. Their eponymous album was only now in 2019 released by Black Widow Records on compact disc.
The band was formed in 1968 in Gainesville, Florida, and later ended up in the Miami area. The most important members at the time were guitarist Alberto de Almar and keyboardist Bill Sabella. In 1972 they recorded an album along with drummer Robbie Hanson and bassist Steve Margolis. Even though they had made a test pressing they were never able to secure a record deal. However, they still managed to release 50 copies of the studio recordings on a double album. It was housed in a plain white demo sleeve. The band name was hand-written in pen on the cover. They sold most of few remaining copies at local gigs. One of the original albums was just recently discovered in a warehouse. This is actually the source of the newly released album.
What's on this album you might ask yourself. Of course classic '70s progressive rock but also with significant elements of fusion, jazz rock and psychedelic rock. Traces of the classic seventies progressive rock acts such as Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer are very notable. The first band because of the high pitched vocals done by Sabella reminding of Jon Anderson but also his Mini Moog parts resembling sometimes Rick Wakeman. The second band because this same keyboard player also knows how to sound like the late Keith Emerson. Most of all the Hammond organ and Moog parts move very much towards the style of how Emerson played on those instruments. Guitarist de Almar is more responsible for the fusion and jazz rock parts. His style moves more towards somebody like John Mclaughlin and that's why sometimes the music of Mahavishnu Orchestra gets to the surface on many of tracks.
While listening to the eight songs on this album, it becomes very clear to me that a lot of the them are just live jams or improvisations on which the two main musicians duel. The rhythm tandem of Hanson and Margolis provide the right basis together on which de Almar and Sabella can shine on their instruments. Their musical battles are a real treat from time to time. But sometimes they sound a little bit the same and they go on and on. Also the playing is sometimes too busy and there is hardly any space to breath. Nevertheless still rather enjoyable and it never gets boring music wise.
If you like to hear something new which is still rather old you'll have to check out this release. Most of all if you like classic '70s progressive rock with significant elements of fusion, jazz rock and psychedelic rock this might be your cup of tea. You might find it a lost gem or not. You decide! I certainly think it was a wise decision of Black Widow Records to release it officially almost fifty years after it was originally recorded, beautiful music from the past!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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