• 7/10
    METAMORPHOSIS - Dark - 7/10


Progrock Records
Release date: March 2, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

A Progband which was only known to Progfans was, is and will remain: Metamorphosis. The answer to the question “why?” is easy for the “was” and “is” part. Being on a small label with the name Progrock Records means that Proggies will probably hear your name. But nobody else will. As with Metamorphosis, there are three more albums from the Swiss band available, dating back to 2002, 2003 and 2005. Hardly known, but with a good reputation among the said scene.

But why will Metamorphosis remain known to Proggies only even after Dark? Because they deliver exactly what that scene asks for, but nobody else does. Dark is deeply rooted in the good old days of Progressive Rock (Rock, mind you, not Metal!), and if you are over the age of 40 you probably recognize it: the Seventies and the first half of the Eighties. Bands like Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis and Marillion left their mark on Metamorphosis, or better the band’s mastermind Jean-Pierre Schenk, and he is trying to bridge the gap into the contemporary music scene with eight compositions that do not exhibit the same extravagant song length which were so typical of the early Prog, but apart from that follow the same blueprint when it comes to songwriting.

Indeed, occasionally one can hear parts which remind of the aforementioned bands, like the solo section of “Waking Up” which sounds incredibly like Steve Rothery, but also bands like IQ or the successful Porcupine Tree (just listen to “Hey Man”) left their mark on the Swiss. But while that is all very good, the album overall cannot keep up with the originals. The main reason is that some of the songs just flow by the listener, leaving no mark, making one look up only when its over.

Schenk’s voice is too laid back and accentuates the tracks too little to make it thrilling. In this, one can easily spot the difference between Metamorphosis and IQ. Also the guitar playing is virtuous, but lacks feeling. That is the difference between Metamorphosis and Marillion. The lyrics are mostly nice, but not spectacular (“Song For My Son” is the exception to that rule). A clear difference between Metamorphosis and Genesis. The album sounds old fashioned, timeless, but not in a positive way, rather anti-modern. Obviously the difference between Metamorphosis and Porcupine Tree. The overall setting is emotional, but the songs do not give the listener time to indulge in the sounds and feelings. That is the difference between Metamorphosis and Pink Floyd.

That may sound negative, but is too harsh a judgement for the album overall. Because comparing it to the masters of the genre must make it fail like so many others, while Dark actually is not bad. The only thing Schenk and his comrades did not achieve is to create their own sound, carve a unique musical profile for Metamorphosis. That is why one is always drawing comparisons, and that is where the shortcomings essentially lie. Still, Progfans should definitely check out this album, because a decent genre release it is nonetheless. As for everybody else: The band will remain known to Progfans only.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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