Methaphor - Starfooted, (CD, 73:51) GALILEO 0002 Galileo Records P.O. Box 30 9126 Necker SWITZERLAND CYBERHOME: http://www.galileo-records.com Many good musical recordings require patience - what sounds like Monkees outtakes upon the first listen often can wind up sticking like white on rice to your brain after the third or fourth listen. Nowhere is this more apparent than with symphonic progressive recordings and patience is no doubt a virtue with Metaphor's Starfooted, the first outing for a former Genesis tribute band and an overall excellent concept album. What at first sounds like cookie-cutter prog becomes much more interesting upon closer inspection; Starfooted ends up being a very rewarding experience to listeners who can devote a little temporal investment. First let's discuss the whole concept behind the CD. Starfooted's tells the story of Gnosticism, a belief system that is somewhat similar to Christianity but with a few twists: the serpent was actually sent to HELP Adam and Eve, but the god Yahweh conspires to keep them and all their ancestors captive on the prison planet of Earth. It's a very interesting set of beliefs, and fortunately the band explains it all on their website (www.metaphor.org) - I'd suggest anyone who listens to Starfooted to visit those pages to get the most out of the lyrical content of the album. It's really quite fascinating stuff. Musically, despite being an ex-Genesis tribute band, Metaphor is surprisingly different from that band - they actually sound a little more like Gentle Giant then Peter Gabriel and Co. The one obvious exception of this is Malcolm Smith's sharp and angular electric guitar playing, which made me envision Steve Hackett in all his early 70's glory - complete with coke-bottle glasses, bell-bottoms, and devilishly long hair. That having been said, Metaphor does a great job of creating its OWN style, and avoids being too derivate of their progressive ancestors. Starfooted isn't likely to jump right out at you, and as a matter of fact the CD itself takes a few tracks to really get going. After a couple of mediocre songs, the third track "Starfooted in a Garden of Cans" really kick-starts the proceedings with a 15-minute showcase of fantastic compositional skills that most certainly becomes more and more interesting with repeated listening. "In the Cave" and "Seed" are two more examples of great lengthy compositions as well, the latter containing a extremely pleasant acoustic guitar and vocal break that is sure to please even the most jaded ear. The only places where Metaphor stumbles a bit is where vocalist John Marby tries to get a little too theatrical for his own good with his singing - I'm sure the vocal "tricks" are supposed to inject an emotional context into the lyrics, but they wind up sounding kind of silly. Fortunately these occasions are few and far between, and Marby is an excellent vocalist with a very soothing voice. In the end, I'm certainly glad that the boys in Metaphor decided to give up their tribute band roots; the personnel are FAR too talented to be stuck in the rut of only performing other peoples' music. Metaphor proves that they are more than capable of flying on their own with Starfooted, and have produced a very professional and satisfying piece of symphonic progressive rock. This is a band that I shall be watching with great interest in the future, and I would urge that other proggies do the same! For more information on Metaphor and the Gnosticism myths, surf on over to http://www.metaphor.org. - Michael Askounes (firstname.lastname@example.org) TRACKLIST: 1. Ladder From the Sky (6:53) 2. Chaos With a Crown of Gold (5:58) 3. Starfooted in a Garden of Cans (15:04) 4. The Illusion of Flesh (2:07) 5. In the Cave (9:13) 6. Seed (10:09) 7. The Bridal Chamber (2:42) 8. Don't Sleep (9:00) 9. Battle of the Archons (10:24) 10.Assumption (2:19) CREDITS: Bob Koehler: Drums, Percussion John Mabry: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar Jim Post: Bass, Bass Pedals Malcolm Smith: Electric & Acoustic Guitars Marc Spooner: Bells & Whistles
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