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Iron Butterfly - Metamorphosis CD (album) cover

METAMORPHOSIS

Iron Butterfly

 

Proto-Prog

3.34 | 51 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Whilst history shows that Iron Butterfly were an extraordinarily success in their own time, for many they will always be known as the group that produced the mammoth, twenty-five minute long heavy-psych epic 'In-A- Gadda-Da-Vida',a track that defined the album of the same name. This epoch-defining piece would prove to be both a blessing and a curse, providing Iron Butterfly with a worldwide reputation that lasts to this day, yet also overshadowing almost everything else they did, including this fourth release from 1970. Seen by many as the group's last truly decent effort, 'Metamorphosis' would fare slightly better than it's underwhelming predecessor 'Ball' simply because it wasn't the follow-up to 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida'. Whilst 'Ball' pointedly eschewed the grandstanding that had been such a feature of the group's success - shorter, simpler tracks were the order of the day - 'Metamorphosis' did at least see Iron Butterfly re-embrace their psychedelic roots, the album topped off with an impressive fourteen-minute epic entitled 'Butterfly Bleu' which provided glimmers of the group's old creative fire. An otherwise rather uneven affair, 'Metamorphosis' blends up-tempo rockers, bluesy-numbers, Beatles-esque psych-pop and occasional organ-and-guitar-laced heavy rock that almost comes across as a kind of potted sonic trawl through the previous three studio releases. Some tracks grate - 'Stone Believer' is trite and light - others impress without breaking any new ground, though an added instrumental depth which sees sitars, extra percussion and steel guitars added to the mix does enliven otherwise run-of-the-mill tracks such as the poppy 'New Day' and 'Best Years Of Our life'. Hardly inspired stuff then, but at least 'Metamorphosis' avoids the pitfalls of 'Ball', though if this album proves anything it is that this a group with a rare talent for writing long, complex numbers, the best track on this album the final, lengthy, atmospheric epic. Pity then - a real pity - that they only wrote two extended pieces during their initial burst of activity. They could have been so much better.

STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

stefro | 3/5 |

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