Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography




From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Metaphor Starfooted album cover
3.64 | 59 ratings | 10 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ladder From The Sky (6:53)
2. Chaos With A Crown Of Gold (5:58)
3. Starfooted In A Garden Of Cans (15:04)
4. The Illusion Of Flesh (2:07)
5. In The Cave (9:13)
6. Seed (10:09)
7. The Bridal Chamber (2:42)
8. Don't Sleep (9:00)
9. Battle Of The Archons (10:24)
10. Assumption (2:19)

Total Time: 73:51

Line-up / Musicians

- John Mabry / vocals, acoustic guitar
- Malcolm Smith / electric & acoustic guitars
- Marc Spooner / keyboards
- Jim Post / bass, bass pedals
- Bob Koehler / drums, percussion

Releases information

CD Galileo Records ‎- Galileo 0002 (2000, US)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy METAPHOR Starfooted Music

More places to buy METAPHOR music online

METAPHOR Starfooted ratings distribution

(59 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

METAPHOR Starfooted reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
4 stars METAPHOR originally started out as a GENESIS tribute band. Their debut CD "Starfooted" though is a concept album with their own compositions. The music however is very reminiscent to early 70's Peter GABRIEL-era GENESIS but with a more modern sound. There's also reminiscences to ARENA, The FLOWER KINGS, GALLEON, GENTLE GIANT, IQ, MARILLION, SPOCK'S BEARD and the Swedish band TWIN AGE, but after all, TWIN AGE were once a GENESIS tribute band too. This album has it all: Mellotron, odd-time signatures, many complex rhythm changes, good compositions and arrangements. The songs are very much built up the same way as typical GENESIS songs, but it would be unfair to say that METAPHOR hasn't got moments when they are blooming out in their own personal style. The vocalist John Mabry is very good and so are the musicians. John Mabry is one factor that makes METAPHOR differ from being a GENESIS-clone. This album is highly recommended to lovers of Peter GABRIEL-era GENESIS. They are a perfect substitute for the symphonic progressive rock that GENESIS abandoned with the release of "-And then there were Three" in 1978. I'm a big GENESIS fan so I can't help but to love this album after all. Hopefully they will develop their own style on forthcoming albums, then they would surely get a breakthrough. I think that METAPHOR has a good chance to become one of the major progressive rock bands in the near future. Remember my words!
Review by Steve Hegede
5 stars METAPHOR are a 5-piece band (from San Jose, California) who began their career as a GENESIS cover-band. As time went on, though, the band slowly added original compositions into their cover-list, and the idea of releasing a CD of original material was born. "Starfooted" is colorful, haunting, grandiose, and playful in a manner that most listeners will be reminded of early GENESIS. Tracks like "Ladder From The Sky", and "Chaos With A Crown Of Gold" are prog gems.

Themes are introduced, developed, and resolved the way 70s bands use to do it. And along the way listeners are treated to melodic, and rhythmic surprises. Malcolm Smith's guitar playing really struck me as impressive. His style might recall "Voyage Of The Acolyte"-era Steve HACKETT. But his prog-guitar palette includes everything from the famous Hackett weeping-sound, to slightly aggressive Steve HOWE-like riffing. Once in a while, I'm also reminded a bit of GENTLE GIANT's Gary Green. Vocalist John Mabry offers nice vocals in a style similar to Peter GABRIEL, and Peter HAMMILL. Yet at times he sounds similar to some of the neo-prog singers.

I have to mention that many tracks, towards the end of the CD, feature long vocal sections which might bother those of you who prefer instrumental prog, or who don't really like the neo-prog vocal style. However, the music supporting the vocals remains reasonably complex and interesting. Overall, fans of early-GENESIS, Steve HACKETT's early solo albums, and neo-prog will enjoy METAPHOR. "Starfooted" remains one of the top prog CDs released in 2000.

Review by hdfisch
4 stars METAPHOR's debut "Starfooted" is a concept album about the forgotten religion of Gnosticism, but as they emphasize on their website none of their group members is in fact a Gnostic. The music is right from the beginning reminiscent of Gabriel-era GENESIS, but as well of some other bands from the heyday of Prog. Nevertheless the band has sufficient own substance to come away from its "fame" as a Genesis-Tribute band and is presenting its own style despite of this fact. Even if some people might call them a "Genesis clone", everyone has to admit, that it's at least a very good one. Epic long tracks joined to each other by the music and the concept offering many of the ingredients that finally defined what is Prog, like mellotron and keyboard soundscapes, complex odd-timed rhythms and a guitar playing that clearly reminds to Steve Hackett's. "Starfooted" is an excellent album and one of the best debut releases ever. It does not have any lengthy parts or fillers and never becomes tiresome. Although being an album that one likes from the beginning (at least it worked that way for me) it's as well one which grows on you and fascinates with each repeated listening. I'm quite sure that it will be classic in future and METAPHOR could become one of the most important Prog acts. Maybe their music does not give much to people who are not lovers of Retro-Prog and bands like GENESIS, GENTLE GIANT, YES and so on, although it's hard for to imagine. But for fans of this kind of music it's definitively HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. So 4 stars is really not too much for this album and bearing in mind that's in fact a debut, one could almost give 5.
Review by NJprogfan
3 stars I have to piggy back on what Allan says above: the vocalist IS a distraction. Now mind you, when you play music that sounds so much like a certain band, (Genesis) the vocalist must be top notch. But I hate to slag off on anybody. Yet, Mr. Mabray's voice is just too colorless and monotone. When he sings well, like on the track "Chaos With A Crown Of Gold" I'm not so distracted, in fact its a damn good song. But for most of the album it seems that everything is just a tad restrained, especially in the keyboards department. I'm waiting for the band to burst loose with something powerful, but the vocals kick back in and flattens it. Most American Neo prog bands fall into the same rut. A decent album that just seems like it could have been much better. 2.5 stars really.
Review by progrules
4 stars Time for this review because I just did the review of a more or less underwhelming album and I suddenly thought of this one as being a really overwhelming one. In my quest for the greatest neo on earth I stumbled over this one, heard it a couple of times and can only come up with: this must be one of the most overlooked prog albums ever.

Metaphor is in all reviews regarded as a Genesis clone (or at least cover band) and therefore referred as such where the influences are concerned. Of course these influences are there but so are many others but to me this band produces highly original compositions with great variations and transitions within the songs. These are so original, I hardly heard anything like this before and I feel it's cheap to link it all to the seventies as if Metaphor owes it all to that era and the bands that domiated that period. Metaphor is simply and incredibly talented band, mainly where the compositions are concerned but also with the execution is hardly anything wrong. I disagree with the comments that John Maybry is a poor vocalist. I think he fits these songs and this musical style perfectly.

But I keep coming back to the songs and then mainly the first 5,6 which are simply amazing. The build up is genius and the songs are very complex and therefore so worth while to check out. It will take at least ten spins to begin to get the hang of them and after that you start enjoying them more and more. So many musical ideas put in each song and still they all make a perfectly flowing composition. Twists and turns flying all over the place, I simply can't get enough listening to this album.

In the end it's a pity the last few songs really go a few steps too far where originality is concerned because that spolis the highest possible rating for me. If the album would have consisted of the first seven songs it would have been a masterpiece for me but as it is now I will have to cut down to four but it's still 4,5 everything considered.


Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is American band METAPHOR's debut from 1999. These guys started out as a GENESIS cover band before composing their own songs and putting out this album. Certainly the GENESIS flavour is very strong throughout this concept album which is about the belief's of a gnostic. At almost 74 minutes it's way too long though, take off 20 minutes and I would like it a lot more. I do like it better than the follow up "Entertaing Thanatos" even if that record has a more original sound to it than this one.

"Ladder From The Sky" opens with almost spoken words as the sound builds. I like the angular guitar with the sampled mellotron here.This is one of my favourite sections on the whole album. Synths take over for the guitar late and the drums become more prominant. "Chaos With A Crown Of Gold" opens with piano followed by a fuller sound including guitar. It settles with vocals 1 1/2 minutes in. They do get theatrical before 5 1/2 minutes. "Starfooted In A Garden Of Cans" has a 1 minute intro then the tempo picks up. It settles with organ breifly before 6 1/2 minutes. Another calm after 8 minutes. Almost spoken words 10 minutes in as the tempo continues to shift often. "The Illusion Of Flesh" is a short tune with acoustic guitar and reserved vocals,although it does get fuller.

"In The Cave" is led by mellotron and drums early then vocals join in. This reminds me of FRUITCAKE I must say. It's fairly laid back really. "Seed" opens with some atmosphere before vocals and a beat take over 1 1/2 minutes in. This is very GENESIS-like. More atmosphere after 5 minutes. Strummed guitar then vocals after 6 1/2 minutes and a fuller sound follows. "The Bridal Chamber" is a short tune that opens with strummed guitar as soft vocals join in. Drums and piano follow. It settles again late. "Don't Sleep" opens with mellotron then it kicks in around 2 minutes. I like this especially the bass. It settles back before 7 1/2 minutes to the end. "Battle Of The Archons" is one of my favourite tracks at least until the vocals arrive before 5 1/2 minutes. Nice bass in the first half of this one. "Assumption" is the short uplifting (musically) conclusion of strummed guitar and vocals. Keys do come in and mellotron.

Once again a good album but with lots of flaws as far as my tastes go.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Talented US act formed in 1993 in San Jose,California by guitarist Malcolm Smith,focusing on covering Genesis songs in their early years.By mid-90's with addition of Jim Post on bass and John Mabry on vocals,replacing brothers Vince and Robert Montia respectively,METAPHOR started composing their own material.By the end of 1998 the band entered Suspect Studios in Sunnyvale,Califonia to record their debut album.''Starfooted'' was ready the next year,when they were signed by Galileo Records.The dream came true...

Professionalism is actually what fully characterizes this album.From the shorter track to the more extended ones,everything in here is carefully arranged and every note seems to be in the right place at the right time.Obvious influences come from the Symphonic Rock scene,so fans of GENESIS,YES,SPOCK'S BEARD and even MARILLION and IQ will find plenty to like in ''Starfooted''.Add to these symphonic influences some complicated GENTLE GIANT-like twists and you are totally in the game.Guitar work ranges from dramatic HACKETT-ish inspired melodic stuff to to more energetic grooves,close to IQ's Mike Holmes.Very good stuff indeed and moreover you can add the excellent and varied keyboard work of Marc Spooner.You won't face only the familiar and well-arranged organ and synth sounds in ''Starfooted''.Prepare yourself for some awesome piano performance and surprisingly there is even some vintage harpsichord sounds to be heard throughout.On the other hand I personally discover a slight black hole of compositional structure to the longer tracks.Beware:this is excellent stuff as well,but the themes seem not to stick that much to each other.Despite their heavily GENESIS- influenced music,I would more likely compare METAPHOR to bands trying to fully re-capture the vintage 70's spirit and thus,SPOCK'S BEARD,THE FLOWER KINGS,STRANGEFISH or MAGIC PIE fans will propably get thrilled a bit more than other fans.

''Starfooted'' is pure and Classic Progressive Rock of the old school.Lots (and I mean it) of great music will fill your time with memorable moments.The problem is that this excellency of some tracks won't follow the whole album...and this is the main problem of nowadays too extended CD's. However about 50 minutes of really nice music will lead to a fair 3.5 rating.Certainly a band to watch and a very strong (and of course recommended) debut!

Review by Warthur
3 stars With Genesis influences worn on their sleeves and a songwriting style reminiscent of a mildly more complex IQ (but only very, very mildly), Metaphor's Starfooted isn't exactly the most original album out there. But if that's the sort of style you like - and there are so many bands playing in it these days it must be enjoyed by a lot of people - there's a lot to love here. Whilst there's othing really new about the music it is, at least, competently performed, and a wee bit more diverse in terms of instrumentation than your typical band working in this particular niche. The lyrics are actually more original, presenting as they do a simple and easy to follow summary of the beliefs of the Gnostics (well, some of them anyway - the Gnostics were a diverse bunch). Despite the not especially inspiring delivery, they do manage to provide enough of a twist to make the album not completely forgettable.

A decent effort by this group, but it's not going to set the world on fire, and it's not something I'm likely to revisit terribly often - but good enough to come back to occasionally. A solid three stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars These guys started life as a Genesis tribute band but they are way beyond that now. Sure the guitarist stiil sounds a lot like Steve Hackett and they most certainly are old-school prog (as opposed to neo-prog), but that's about as close as they get to Genesis. One of their biggest influences a ... (read more)

Report this review (#4848) | Posted by | Monday, February 28, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars There are some very strong and likeable songs on this concept album by a band that is rumored to have started as a GENESIS tribute outfit. I find some of the extended passages to be a little meandering and suggests the group has gotten in over it's head. The most disappointing thing about "Sta ... (read more)

Report this review (#4847) | Posted by Trafficdogg | Thursday, February 3, 2005 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of METAPHOR "Starfooted"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.