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Metamorfosis - Papallones I Elefants CD (album) cover

PAPALLONES I ELEFANTS

Metamorfosis

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.97 | 13 ratings

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Gerinski
Prog Reviewer
5 stars A very little known treasure of spanish prog deserving to be rediscovered.

Metamorfosis was finally classified as Jazz Rock / Fusion in PA and although I do not argue the decision it is worth to start by saying that it contains quite a lot of symphonic prog as well, and it will please symphonic fans as well as those of jazz rock, and probably quite a few of eclectic prog. Influences range from the purely jazzy such as Chick Corea or Herbie Hancock to actual symphonic such as early King Crimson, Bacamarte and even PFM or a bit of ELP, passing by the fusion of Weather Report or the also spanish Iceberg in their instrumental era. However they do not mix so much the styles together but rather alternate fragments of each style.

This is their only album, totally instrumental and released in 1982 although hearing the music one could think that it's from 7 or 8 years earlier. In full honesty this is probably a 4 star album but by virtue of its obscurity and because it's impressively well played and recorded for such a modest project, I have been generous and given it 5 stars.

Keyboardist Jaume Montcusi wrote 4 out of the 5 tracks, but the funny thing is that the only track not written by him, "Morir per Viure" written by guitarist Luis Garcia, is maybe the best IMHO. One wonders that if Garcia had written more of the material the album might have been even better!

The opener title track "Papallones i Elefants" (all the titles are in catalan language and this one means "Butterflies and Elephants") has a totally symphonic first 5 and a half minutes followed by another 5 and a half totally jazzy. We can already feel that all the musicians are highly competent but the keyboard work is specially outstanding.

"Un joc als cinc anys" (A game at the age of five) is more jazzy with a typical spanish feel and again features great piano and keyboards.

"Pel a pel per al proxim dia" (Step by step for the new day) starts with a jazzy upbeat first 2 minutes and changes to a soft middle section with some symphonic elements which grows in intensity until the 6 minutes where fast jazz takes over again until at 1 minute to the end it blends cleverly with the middle section theme again for the ending. Great work by all the musicians and additional percussions courtesy of guitarist Joan Ramos.

"Morir per Viure" (To die to live) is the most symphonic and best track for my taste. Being written by guitarist Luis Garcia it features more prominent guitar work although the keyboards are still brilliant and the bass and drums contribute always strongly.

The closing track "El reflex del teu mirall" (The reflection of your mirror) combines again jazz- rock with symphonic and even some light eclectic experimentation but never too dissonant or weird.

The production quality is surprisingly good, and another pleasant fact is that unlike many other instrumental albums with strong jazz-rock / fusion component, it does not abuse of excessively long solos and jams, the soloings contain a lot of melodic phrasing and alternate frequently so they never feel tedious.

As a curious footnote, the album was originally released in Spain by a small religious label called AVE (Audio Visuales Evangelicos) although I have no idea if the band really had any christian inclinations or it was simply a matter of economical necessity.

A lost gem deserving to be rediscovered, which is possible since it has been re-issued by a japanese label in digipack and is available at least in the catalog of some european online distributors. Alternatively (and cheaper!) you can listen to all the tracks in YouTube, just search by the band and album or track names.

Gerinski | 5/5 |

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