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Metamorphosis - Then All Was Silent  CD (album) cover

THEN ALL WAS SILENT

Metamorphosis

Neo-Prog


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erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is a Swiss five-piece with their new album, it's a concept about cloned children that have to be killing machines but one is different, his name is Kenny. The music is pleasant and melodic progrock: from mellow keyboards with melancholical vocals or twanging electric guitars to mid-tempo featuring organ and harder-edged guitar and bombastic pieces with a lush keyboardsound (including beautiful Mellotron waves). The music has echoes from early/mid-GENESIS, mid-PINK FLOYD (great David Gilmour-inspired soli) and some ALAN PARSONS (symphonic pop). This is not very original progrock but the 11 compositions (running time more than one hour) are tasteful and alternating, Metamorphosis has made remarkable progress on their third CD.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#35500)
Posted Tuesday, June 07, 2005 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I got this cd by accedent in a wild downloading spree. A lot of prog I hear doesn't impress me. Especially new prog is hard to appriciate for I am a '70 prog fanatic. Then all was Silent is an good example of a release that took me from the very start. The first keyboard progression in The Birth is so atmospheric! It shook me. The lyrics are very confrontating: This was the beginning of a new cencury... Directly thrown into this very serious story.

It's about a boy Kenny raised in an sort of camp with 200 other children of the same age who never saw the outside world. They were born to become soldiers for an indoctrinated country. There program of teaching is total. Only Kenny keeps asking questions refusing to be totally brainwashed by his educaters. Then his first attempt to escape fails and he is tortured to be shure he will never do it again. He had no choise, he was just one of them.. a very touching lyric for it pictures the situation in its essence. He had nowhere to go. Then later he discovers The Secret Room, where he finds a book of pictures of the outside world. Then he plans his final escape and is being followed through the lands. The story ends of hearing him followed by plains trying to bomb him. Whether he survives or not is left for your own imagination.

That's the story in short, let's now talk about the music itself. Metamorphosis sounds (I only have this album) very symphonic with psychelic/space influences. The symphonic parts are well made, sounding professional and recorded with well chosen sounds ond keyboards. Sometimes mellow, sometimes straightforwarded. Some solo's are done, but in way I can actually like them very much although I ain't a big fan of solo's with keyboards. Unless they are rockorgans ore mellotrons that is. On this album also some mellotronsamples where used, nice choice. The guitars seem to be heavely influenced by David Gilmour. Nice and again, very atmospheric. They just got the right notes on the right moments. Not so very hard to play maybe, but timed perfectly and so the progressions on guitar are well performed. Some of the riffs in especially The Escape and Confinement are very powerfull too. Nice interaction between keyboard and guitars overall. The bass and drum lines are just where they need to be in a symphonic record. The sound of Metamorphosis is intense, emotional and sometime peacefull. The song Springtime reminds me a bit of Pink Floyd's Us and Them. Time is taken for the progression of the songs. This in order to make the atmosphere complete.

So in summary: Great story, well put on music. The music really interacts perfectly with the words. All the moods expressed with instruments get backupped by the lyrics and vice versa. Then aside this, the album just realy hits me! It touches my very soul when I listen to it with all my attention. It's something to take time for. So, some may find it a bit overrated, but it's realy my only choice: FIVE STARS!

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#177078)
Posted Thursday, July 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Quite a leap forward, in terms of originality. Although still very rooted in the latter-day Pink Floyd mold, Jean-Pierre Schenk & co definitly moved away to a more broad and different sound. This concept album is quite interesting because it retained most of their best early features while doing something more challeging and complex. I don´t think the story itself is very original or fully succesful displayed, but musically there was a move for the better. The songwriting is developing quite a bit, while the arrangements and the playing kept all the beauty and tastefullness they had since their debut, especially the fine vintage keyboards sounds and the great guitar licks and solos.

The production and mixing are excellent. If you like the more laid back kind of prog, you should check this album. It is a good starting point to know Metamorphosis music. Those talented guys are really goind strong in their career and I hope they can deliver albums like this one in near furture. Rating: something between 3,5 to 4 stars. I´ll give them four because those guys are getting there fast.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#182259)
Posted Friday, September 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
4 stars What makes prog unique and often the butt end of all the scorn emanating from the deluded miscreants is the subject matter that adorns the symphonic bombast! Yeah, prog likes to delve into philosophy, fantasy, mystery, history, geography, art and literature. It is often inspired by war, disease, bigotry, romance, science and occasional doomsday messages. For me, Prog has always been a soundtrack to an imaginary movie anyway. Swiss group Metamorphosis has definitely focused on a somewhat Orwellian desolation, a future society firmly anchored in rigid apathy (are we not that far now?) and leader, multi-instrumentalist Jean-Pierre Schenk certainly has enough material to vent his "spleen". Obviously with such a gloomy pretense, the music absorbs itself into cascading torrents of Floydian inner pain, sweeping keyboard-based orchestrations swerve into delirious realms and the story unfolds like a cinematographic essay. Just like the famous prog classics, this is an album that needs aural attention as well as reading the lyrics, booklet firmly in hand. "Birth" kicks off majestically with sumptuous synthesizer patterns, sizzling guitar eruptions and superbly expressive overall mood. "When Kenny was Sad" is an absolute highlight, a moody 8 minute expression of undeniable grief, with minimalist piano, whooshing electronics and a plaintive vocal and loaded with echo and resonance. The chorus is memorable ("Cry, cry all the time"), hinting at almost early Alan Parsons Project territory and the mood is appropriately somber. I am a sucker for this kind of melancholia, so I am sad too like Kenny but happily so (???) as I groove hazily to the heavenly mellotron-drenched instrumental section, the rhythm guitar raging in the background, a definite classic track. "Spingtime" suggests a brief respite, a moment of pastoral reprieve like a soothing eddy of musical succulence in a sea of psychedelic torpor, perhaps very Pink Floydian in structure but that is certainly no crime by any standard. A Gilmour-like lead guitar leaps out in sudden splendor. "Beyond the Wall" (talk about a blatant hint!) has a howling slide guitar riff acting as some kind of early warning device, riffing anxious, angry and aggressive. You could almost imagine the Vopos guarding Check Point Charlie! The marshalling drums are led by a rippling bass, all pulsing together with the huge synth squalls thus creating a doomsday feel, a sense of unease and fear. A luminous axe solo keeps the aim squarely on desperate plight of our Kenny, yearning for escape. "Confinement" recalls his arrest and the brutal interrogation that follows with a tormented arrangement, raging and incendiary guitar blurts and veering nearly into metallic delirium as the unforgiving door is shut in his face. "The Killing Machines" eerily vaporizes the battlefield of warring society, a creepily wistful dirge that recalls the sensoral bestiality of Waters' masterpiece, offering up a super guitar solo to boot (jackboot?) that glides on and on. "The Secret Room" evokes the unmistakable gloom of Orwell's "Room 101", yet here it is a place of hiding and respite instead of vile torture, proven by the sardonically upbeat mood. The short instrumental "The Revelation" conjures up celestial images with some more mellotron pastels, simply evocative lead guitar and piano. "The Book" has the looping synths twanging in cahoots with the guitars, weaving boldly and courageously, as Kenny discovers the forbidden truths, all there in a book, very reminiscent of the Francois Truffaut classic movie Fahrenheit 451. "The Escape" has some quaint flute warbling, queasy fretwork and quaking organ, languorously providing the musical distraction to enable the flight from oppression. Pretty clever these Swiss! Another scouring fret workout sets the tone, in a magnificent setting. This leviathan recording is put to rest with the epic title cut, a near 11 minute flurry of exquisite progressive musing. "Then All Was Silent" literally encompasses in one sweep all that makes this a vibrant addition to any prog collection, with effective vocals relating a touching story, woven with thick cords of sublime keyboards and tied tightly together with some blistering guitar parts. The pace is never rushed or half-baked, always intrinsically involved with the core story, just like a good soundtrack should! There is a slow synth solo halfway through that really justifies the praise dished out in this review. The guitar explosion that follows would make any string slinger sit up and notice, as it has "classic" stamped all over it, insistent, majestic, proud and even slightly cocky. So would you, if all fell silent! If you profoundly take pleasure in heroic all-encompassing musical adventures, then you should consider this unpretentious and unsuspecting jewel.4.5 Roger Federers

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#202240)
Posted Monday, February 09, 2009 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Their previous album "Nobody Cares" (I bet you!) was a pure neo prog adventure without little substance. What about this one?

Well, the least that I can say is that it started with an excellent song: "The Birth"; even if the combination of "Genesis" for the first part and Floyd for the second one is not very personal or original. The PG feel during vocals is not new for this band and might irritate some persons; but during "When Kenny Was Sad" it is the similarity with "IQ" that is most noticeable: melancholic and sad indeed. So far, so good.

Halas, "Springtime" is a syrupy ballad that shouldn't have been included here: the album is long enough to avoid such a weak and useless track. What comes next is more in the neo vein (from "Beyond The Wall" to "The Killing Machines"). Again the influence is fully "Genesis" and "IQ" oriented. The whole mood though of all these tracks (which have started with "When Kenny Was Sad") is really mellow and too sad. Too much of the same as well.

For symphonic maniac, I'm afraid that this band doesn't fulfill the expectations. At times symphonic, OK. But only occasionally.

Even the title and closing number which is by far the longest compositions is not meeting the expectations: no passionate instrumental passages, average vocal ones. No big deal to tell the truth.

As a global perspective, I rate this album with three stars but you shouldn't expect too much out of this album. A couple of good songs and that's it.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#307674)
Posted Sunday, October 31, 2010 | Review Permalink

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