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Metamorfosi - Inferno CD (album) cover

INFERNO

Metamorfosi

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.03 | 244 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Second album from this Sicilian (now) quartet (having lost their non-existent guitarist and changed drummer), it is a concept album based on Dante's Divine Comedy. I usually am very wary of these ambitious historical concept albums, which usually fall flat on their face because of the musicians being unable to match the pretensions that the subject requires. In this regard, Inferno doesn't fare that bad, but it is far from being a success either, even if they dare to update it to the current era's modern- day "sinners". Again released on the small Vedette label, but graced with a much more impressive artwork this time (and an improved production as well, but this is still not good), the album is an improvement over their debut, but then again, this wasn't that hard.

Unlike their debut, this album is much more ELP/Egg-sounding, but this is not yet close as clearly Olivieri's virtuosity can't quite match up Emerson, Stewart or a lot of other keyboardists. And of course where it really hurts is that he has no one giving him a reply either, hence the too-often-made comparisons. Nevertheless the album presents a bit of interesting (even bold and daring) moments, but overall does not manage to avoid falling into a few traps. These traps are again more to do with their religious conception and cannot avoid the majorly cheesy "seven sins" and two national anthems. The two sidelong tracks (although they are not really visible, especially on the Vinyl Magic Cd reissue, where the instrumentals sections get shrunk into other tracks so the track listing is not correct, either) are cut into many smaller tracks where the Latin presence is often a bit overpowering. While I mentioned ELP, I should rather prefer talking of a cross between Le Orme and Banco, even if the music is not as refined/evolved (in then classical sense) as there remains a messy 60's psych rock ambiance pervading throughout the album, even when in the last quarter of the album, the music is allowed a bit more freedom, the jam is a bit too 60's-ish. Easily the group's better album, but I fail to understand why it is so lauded among progheads.

In the 90's two members recorded the second part of this "oeuvre" and called it Paradiso, while the last part apparently was supposed to be called. you guessed it Purgatorio. Haven't heard any of those two oeuvres, but on the basis of this Inferno (which is no doubt the more interesting chapter of Dante's works both conceptually and artistically), I'm not sure I'd want to either.

In any case, I simply don't find Metamorfosi's two albums standing up to the reputation they have, no matter how many listens you will give them. There is simply not that much to grasp as to take that much investigation, either as their music is more straightforward than some other reviewers are having you believe. Most likely a proper remastering and correct package might do this album a service, but I doubt it would still be that high-placed in my pantheon.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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