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Metaphor - Entertaining Thanatos CD (album) cover

ENTERTAINING THANATOS

Metaphor

Neo-Prog


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hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Generally the band sticks quite well to its musical style on their second effort, nevertheless it sounds much different from the first one and they can't be "accused" anymore by anyone for being a Genesis clone in my opinion since they are showing a quite unique and own style. The main difference to their debut is that it's much more complex and less accessible. It's not the kind of album which will fascinate right from the first or second listening and it might need several spins until one gets familiar with the bizarre structure of the songs and odd lyrics (partly as dialogues). But just due to these features the album should be a real goodie for any proghead. The longest track "Yes & No" is (at least for me) together with the first one "Socrates" one of the more accessible ones in relation to the others. The alteration between more melodic and harmonic parts and more odd-timed ones is just great and the more often I listen to it the more I love it. The lyrics of the album alone which are dealing with the topic "death" are worthwhile for a further investigations. For example the rather funny and entertaining story told in Galatea 3.3 about the Pygmalion carving a Venus sculpture to praise his goddess until she's awakening to live to give him a kick in his most precious parts. Thereafter he's lamenting in latin language: "Testiculi mihi tantopere dolent!". ----Lines like "But his heart was far away" in "Raking The Bones" which is telling the story about a mother raking the bones of her dead son to reconstruct him---- the weird "Call Me Old and Unspired." or the philosophical "When it all comes together" which is about single elements of daily live fitting to each other very rarely for a few moments. Like in the music the mood is shifting so fast and actually during reading the lyrics you never can premonite whether you should think hard about something or just laugh. The weakest point of the album (if it has any) is maybe the vocals of John Mabry, although being a great song-writer his voice fails at some points to follow the complex song structures. Although giving it a rather high rating (because I think it deserves it) I would recommend this album only to hardcore Retro-Prog fans but anyone who liked the first one should not regret the acquisition of this one as well. Moreover it might be a potential rarity in future times. For sure one should invest a considerable amount of time for listening "Entertaining Thanatos", then it can be a real entertainment. Not only for its uniqueness and strangeness I'm giving it 4 stars.

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#28083)
Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars In the liner notes the band says that the album consists of "7 cheery songs about death". "Thanatos" is the Greek god of death, so yes these guys are funny, but they are smart funny. As hdfisch suggests there is a lot in this record to investigate and digest when it comes to the lyrics.This is a philosophical look at death in an amusing way through classic literature and mythology and just plain amusing tales.

The singer really reminds me of Murray McLaughlin, a Folk singer from Canada. I can't say instrumentally that there are any highlights, no outbreaks, it's all fairly bland really.They used to be a GENESIS cover band which apparently is quite evident on the previous record "Starfooted", but no evidence of that here.

So if nothing else this is entertaining, even if the subject is death.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#94157)
Posted Wednesday, October 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
3 stars Less than three months had passed since Metaphor's ''Starfooted'' and Jim Post decided to call it quits, soon to be replaced by Jim Anderson.In 2001 the group started writing down material for a second work.Two tracks were ready, before Bob Koehler also decided to leave the group and the following year Metaphor recruited Jeff Baker as a guest drummer for the recordings of the remaining songs.Meanwhile the group established its own indendent label Trope Audio and their second album ''Entertaining Thanatos'' was eventually released in 2004.

Metaphor proove with this album to be among the finest modern US Prog bands, borrowing the inspiration of 70's legends and coming up with another nice work full of interesting tunes, refreshing melodies and lovely arrangements, offered mostly through long and elaborate compositions.Cross references with compatriots CRUCIBLE, ECHOLYN and ILUVATAR are reasonable, as Metaphor's music has a strong GENESIS and MARILLION feeling throughout, always delivered with a personal touch.The pieces evolve from smooth, lyrical textures to emphatic, symphonic passages, characterized by excellent keyboard parts and great guitar work.The lush orchestrations are definitely satysfying, the vocal parts are pretty sensitive and the changing themes on organs, Mellotrons and synthesizers keep the listener's interest in a certain deegree.Their songs contain some light, poppy sensibilities akin to SPOCK'S BEARD, but the musicianship is absolutely great, highlighted by the very good 17-min. long ''Yes and No'', a fine example of melodic, emotional yet intricate and serious Progressive Rock with tons of shifting moods, dramatic lyrical moves and technical performances.

A trully consistent group with nice instrumental ideas and a decent level of songwriting.''Entertaining Thanatos'' is a very good effort of tight Progressive Rock along the lines of the classic 70's groups, offered through a modern and fresh sound.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#1042288)
Posted Sunday, September 22, 2013 | Review Permalink

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