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Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy

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Another little known but excellent Italian progressive band. Their roots were in psychedelia, but their sound wasn't quite developed on their debut. Close to BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, early PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI and also EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER or LE ORME. Two classics for any fan of seventies Progressive. "INFERNO", however, was a great development, a complex dynamic conceptual suite, heavy on the keyboards, and full of surprises.

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Ams 2014
$23.91 (used)
Imports 2016
$18.50 (used)
E Fu Il Sesto GiornoE Fu Il Sesto Giorno
Btf 2008
Audio CD$16.09
$16.08 (used)
Inferno (Mini LP Sleeve)Inferno (Mini LP Sleeve)
Vinyl Magic 2008
Audio CD$16.45
$20.13 (used)
Inferno by Metamorfosi (2008-05-01)Inferno by Metamorfosi (2008-05-01)
Audio CD$50.69
Imports 2009
Audio CD$38.02
$39.00 (used)
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METAMORFOSI discography

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METAMORFOSI top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.95 | 54 ratings
E Fu IL Sesto Giorno
3.98 | 214 ratings
3.35 | 33 ratings
4.19 | 25 ratings

METAMORFOSI Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.20 | 5 ratings
La Chiesa delle Stelle

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Purgatorio by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.19 | 25 ratings

Metamorfosi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

5 stars The path of Italian RPI group Metamorfosi has been an interesting one. Starting, like many of the future defining Italian prog acts, with a humble little debut that mixed Sixties pop, gospel and folk elements (1972's `...E Fu il Sesto Giorno'), a year later they would deliver what would become one of THE legendary Italian progressive works with `Inferno', also one of the greatest keyboard-dominated albums in all of the genre, based around one part of the epic `Divina Commedia' (Divine Comedy) poem, a source that would continue as inspiration for continued Metamorfosi works over the decades. Despite a third album being written soon after the seminal 1973 work, the band split and it would remain unrecorded, at least until a version of the group reformed in the Nineties with a new bassist/guitarist and drummer, to be finally released as the gentler `Paradiso' in 2004. But with grand singer Jimmy Spitaleri finished with his commitments to fellow notable Italian proggers Le Orme (having performed lead vocals on their `Prog Files - Live in Rome' set and very underrated `La Via Della Setta' studio album between 2010-11), 2016 brings us the middle `Purgatorio' chapter of the tome, and while it doesn't hold too many genuine surprises, it's sublime, bombastic and lavish symphonic progressive music as only the Italian bands do so well.

A quick and overly simplified history lesson - The `Divina Commedia' is a long narrative poem written by Dante Alighieri, begun in 1308 and completed in 1320, and is considered a preeminent work in Italian literature. The poem presents an imaginative vision of the afterlife, separated into three sections - Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory) and Paridiso (Paradise). Written in the first person, the poem tells of Dante's journey through these three realms, guided by Roman poet Virgil through the first two, then by his courtly love interest Beatrice through Heaven.

The notion of purgatory is regarded as the intermediate state between life and death, in some beliefs a place a person goes to be judged to determine where their soul's eternal destiny is assigned - heavy going stuff! Sure enough, it means that `Purgatorio' is a much more frequently dramatic and darker work than the previous `Paradiso', one that allows for plenty of the classical bombast and theatrical flourishes expected of the group over lengthy and continuous suites of music. Throughout the album, they offer passages and lyrics based around the surreal events detailed in the poem, so please excuse the rather awkward descriptions that follow!

Right from the start, `Eco dagli Inferi' (Echo from Hell) is a foreboding gothic spoken-word narration over cavernous keyboard atmospheres that launches right into strident rocker `Catone' with Enrico Olivieri's humming Hammond organ and whirring synths, Fabio Moresco's pounding drums and Jimmy Spitaleri's commanding boisterous croon detailing a meeting with Cato, once a Roman military leader who now serves as warden to the entrance of the mountain of Purgatory. `Angelo Nocchiero' is a reflective interlude to convey a beautiful white angel in charge of transporting the souls residing in purgatory by boat, `Negligenti' a swooning lament detailing an encounter with those doomed to wait outside the entrance of Purgatory for a term equal to their lives on Earth, and the playfully malevolent `La Malastriscia', full of frantic instrumental organ pomp and a heavy wild vocal conveying a confrontation between a serpent/devil and the two angels that drive it away.

Covered over the following ten tracks, the arrival at the gates of Purgatory (`Porta del Purgatorio') leads to journeying through the seven terraces that represent the seven roots of sinfulness. `Superbi' (Pride) has relentless scathing synth-emulated orchestration and choirs, `Invidiosi' (Envy) is a sorrowful and thoughtful piano reflection and `Iracondi' (Wrath) is an infectious whirring keyboard theme with a jazzy electric piano solo in the middle. `Accidiosi' (Sloth) is a propulsive organ and harpsichord-laced interlude, `Golosi' (Gluttony) has a playful lurch to its slithering keyboard and electric piano stabs, and `Avari e Prodighi's upfront lead synth themes (with nice bass soloing from Leonardo Gallucci) and the electronic-dominated `Lussuriosi Purgatorio' convey Avarice and Lust.

At the summit of Mount Purgatory lies the Earthly Paradise (the Garden of Eden), perfectly represented by the purely instrumental `Paradiso Terrestre', an extended showcase for Enrico Olivieri's calming and victorious piano soloing and proud keyboard fancy. `Beatrice', the woman who symbolizes Dante's path to God, is a piano and vocal swoon, `Il Carro e L'aquila' details her triumphant arrival on griffin-drawn chariot and is grand keyboard-dominated pomp, and closer `E Rinnovato Volo' (renewed flight) is a stirring symphonic finale. With a glorious sweeping vocal, Leonardo's sweetly gliding bass and precious guitar chimes and a heavenly choral climax, it's a dignified and emotional tune to soundtrack her rebuking of his sins, his drinking from the River Lethe which erases his memory of past sin and restores his good memories, and prepares him for his ascent to Heaven (the third act of the Divina Commedia, which was adapted by the band on their 2004 album `Paradisio').

Please be aware - completely frustratingly, there is a world of difference between the LP and CD versions, with the vinyl edition leaving out seven tracks from the album. Admittedly the full album is definitely overlong at just over 56 minutes, but despite how amazing Giuseppina Laura Tarantola's watercolour cover art must look on the larger package, these sort of `highlights compilation' rearrangements to fit an ill-fitting format that here leaves out over 16 minutes of music is completely inexcusable (especially considering some of the stand-out pieces on the album like the instrumental `Paradiso Terrestre' are removed). If you're interested in the album and want the full experience the way it is meant to be heard, the CD edition is your only option.

`Purgatorio' was never going to be an `Inferno' beater (honestly, would ever would?), and some listeners may find that this really doesn't offer anything new when compared to many of the recent `comeback' albums from important vintage period Italian prog bands. But the amount of effort gone into painstakingly writing, producing and performing an interpretation of such a multi-layered and complex work is hugely commendable of the group, and their efforts actually encourage further study of the origin of the material that proves richly rewarding. In addition to Laura Tarantola's above-mentioned cover art and the gorgeous illustrations inside the accompanying CD booklet from Bruno Tarantola that have to be seen to be believed, `Purgatorio' ticks all the right boxes fans could want to Italian progressive music and the grand symphonic music of that country, truly `RPI' in its purest form, and anything less than top marks would be grossly insulting.

Five stars.

 Purgatorio by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.19 | 25 ratings

Metamorfosi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by progbaby

3 stars Hello all,

First of all I wanted to say that I don't consider myself a good reviewer of albums as far as going into details song- by-song, etc.. I respect/admire those here that do that!!

I've been a big fan of Metamorfosi's Inferno since my ears feasted on it back in 1998 when I first heard it (that's when I discovered italian prog) thanks to "Tommy's Forest of Progressive rock". That is a classic of italian prog. Needless to say in 2004 I was very excited when I heard Paradiso was coming out and I was counting down the days to put down "whatever amount it took to get it" as I was expecting another Inferno. Sadly Paradiso was a big letdown for me as there were too many neo-prog (although I like neo prog) leanings and "forgettable" melodies on that album. In all honesty, I need to give that album more of a chance. Seems like everytime I listen to it, I keep hoping I'll finally "get it" and consider it a classic. And every time I listen to "paradiso", I struggle hard to make it all the way thru. Something(s) is just missing with that album (not enough vintage keys, melodies are weak, sounds too modern, etc.).

I guess that helps me with Purgatorio as I've been "dumbed down" by the disappointment of Paradiso. I learned of Purgatorio coming out a few months and thought "Oh really? cool! They're finally going to complete the trilog". But I was not expecting much as I thought "This will probably be more in quality like Paradiso than Inferno".

I've listened to this album now about 10 times so I may change my review/ratings as time goes. One such reviewer on "ratemymusic" says "I've heard it all before" and he gave Purgatorio a low (2 star) rating out of 5.

On to my personal thoughts after 10 listens. It's no Inferno (by golly that one is a classic) but it's better than Paradiso to my ears. Maybe I just like darker/sinister overtones more and this album is more dark/sinister than Paradiso (why wouldn't it tho since it's about Purgatory rather than Heaven).

Album runs about 58 minutes, starts out with a narration over a familiar melody heard in Inferno over a 'pipe organ'. Well that's cool, they use some pipe organs here like the Abominable Dr. Phibes. Nice touches there. Spitaleri vocals are as good as ever and show no sings of aging/weariness. That is evident on the album's most sinister (and short 1 minute) track "Porte di Purgatorio" in which Spitaleri sounds like he did in the closing adrenalene-rushing 10 minutes of the "Inferno" album.

Keyboards by Oliveri and the bass guitar is musicianship is very good. There's still some modern sounding keys (like Paradiso) but Oliveri seems to have added some pipe organs and the occassional ELP analog sounds (that was missing on Paradiso).

There are some other nice pieces like "Angelo Nocchiero" with Spitaleri's operatic vocals over what sounds like a flute-organ and a nice fingerpicking arpeggio on the electric backing. "Negligenti" has a melancholic piano solo (which could fit on Felona E Sorona) and then a nice sad vocal section by Spitaleri (operatic tho in the Francescio Di Giacomo tradition) and then it goes to "heaven" with a beautiful vintage 70's italian keys sound like on the Le Orme Uomo Di Pezza/Felona and RDM's "Contaminizione" albums.

There a lot more to like on this album than with Paradiso. But please don't expect another "Inferno" or you will be disappointed. That should not, however, dissuade you from checking out this album.

I don't think I ever officially rated their other 2 albums. I'd rate "Inferno" as a 4.5 and a classic in the RPI. "Paradiso" a disappointing 2.5 that I found hard to get into (just dull) no matter how many times I tried too. For Purgatorio, a step up and a 3.5. With more listens (as I plan to), I could be persuaded to change my rating to a 4. It already went up from a 3 to a 3.5 after about 10 listens.

The album cover is pretty cool too on this one.

3.5 stars Really.

 E Fu IL Sesto Giorno by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.95 | 54 ratings

E Fu IL Sesto Giorno
Metamorfosi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars As well as numerous one-and-done standalone albums released by many Italian bands in the vintage Seventies period, there's also a fascinating collection of early albums in more of a Sixties flavoured experimental rock/ambitious pop style from many standout RPI bands before they went on to make their grand progressive defining works - for instance, Le Orme began life as a psychedelic pop group, and Pierrot Lunaire delivered a more gentle folk flavoured debut that were very different from their then upcoming special works. Roman band Metamorfosi would release what many consider to be one of the landmark Italian vintage prog titles with `Inferno' in 1973, but a year before that they delivered `E Fu Il Sesto Giorno', a very promising collection of constantly evolving rock pieces and melodic clever pop with plenty of flute, organ and passionate vocals already in place.

Jimmy Spitaleri's bold, bass-filled croon powers opener `Il Sesto Giorno', a pop-length but softly ambitious mix of Luciano Tamburro's snarling guitar, classical piano pomp, gentle synth trills, drifting flute and Enrico Olivieri's organ that moves between sombre and reassuring. It actually reminds of Panna Fredda's superb album `Uno', and Mario Natali's boisterous snappy drumming is a standout here, as it is throughout the entire disc. Sweetly chiming acoustic guitar and warm humming organ sedately bookends `...E Lui Amava I Fiori', but it quickly races up in tempo backed by heavy rattling drumming and Roberto Turbitosi's dirty bass turning the piece into a more raucous pop/rocker. The nine minute `Crepuscolo' is one of the most intricate and exciting moments of the album, moving the group closer to the proper RPI extravagance of their next album `Inferno' with lengthier instrumental passages and grand symphonic themes. Rising powerful drums builds, spacey keyboard runs and a dominating vocal from Spitaleri feature, with haunting group vocals and cool guitar/bass duelling in the extended instrumental middle a great addition as well.

Side two's `Hiroshima' appears to be a rather pretty pop tune at first, but a driving beat, spacey keyboard shimmers and untamed acid-rock guitar outbursts make it firmly a foot-tapping rocker, then `Nuova Luce' is an upbeat spiritual pop piece with a joyful group chorus, enjoyable yet somewhat throwaway. `Sogno E Realta' is another more dynamic progressive moment, moving between a hazy atmosphere of Pink Floyd-like sighing voices with droning immersive organ and wilder rock guitar outbursts with murmuring bass and frantic drumming. Sadly after all the innovation and daring of that previous piece, the band close on a twinkling little pop piece `Inno Di Gloria', but it's well played and a pleasing tune all the same with all the musicians getting decent little standout moments.

While understandably it doesn't share close to the status and reputation that `Inferno' enjoys, this is still a well performed and enjoyable rock/pop album, where at least half the compositions are really quite intelligent and gently daring, and two or three pieces approach genuine greatness. If you've got a healthy set of the true landmark vintage Italian discs and are looking to expand your collection with some of the more unimportant yet perfectly worthwhile titles, `E Fu Il Sesto Giorno' certainly falls under that category. It captures that moment when many Italian bands were just beginning to explore the limits of their music, presenting very respectable experimental rock/pop albums brimming with promise and the exciting potential to come.

Three stars.

 E Fu IL Sesto Giorno by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.95 | 54 ratings

E Fu IL Sesto Giorno
Metamorfosi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

2 stars Back in 1972 the Italian prog rock scene was in full swing and the nation set itself apart from many other European by taking the most interest in the exploding prog rock style and also was one of the few nations that utilized their own language for lyrics. In addition to the bigwigs of PFM, Bnaco, Area and the Celeste type acts out there, there were a gazillion smaller acts that blossomed into an equal amount of directions making the Italian prog rock scene one of the most fruitful and diverse in Europe with countless bands forming, recording an album or two and then disappearing into obscurity.

METAMORFOSI was one of those lesser known bands that came from Rome and managed to pump out two releases before they would take a hiatus until their 2004 comeback "Paradiso" Better known for their second release "Inferno," their debut release E FU IL SESTO GIORNO (And It Was The Sixth Day) came out in the height of the RPI craze. The band formed way back in 1969 and was originally part of the late 60s beatnik scene before heading into the realms of progressive rock and on this debut album can be heard some of the remnants of their pop years which in all honesty makes this album a little tame in comparison to the other bands of the period.

What begins sounding like one of the Andean folk bands with those unique sounding flutes and even the style i was beginning to think that someone slipped a Los Jaivas album in my METAMORFOSI digipak, but lo and behold the lyrics come out Italian and it starts sounding like the pastoral symphonic prog the Italians were pumping out at breakneck speed in '72. Many of the bands prog elements are in play here. This is first and foremost a classically keyboard album focusing on the playing of Enrico Olivieri who delivers nice hooks and pleasing melodies accompanied by the operatic vocal approach of Jimmy Spitaleri. One of the things that separates METAMORFOSI from other bands is that the guitar parts were kept to a minimum and when the very few solos occur they are usually accompanied by the flute.

For an RPI album of 1972 this is pretty weak. At this point the band hadn't stepped too far beyond the 60s and the songs are very boring compared to the explosion of creativity all around them. What we get is simple song structures that never really develop into much of interest. The melodies are pretty straight forward and there are literally no surprises like on "Inferno." This one plays it way too safe and suffers from a serious lack of imagination. After coming to this one after "Inferno" i was way underwhelmed. While nothing on here is bad by any means, nothing is memorable either. This is Italian pop rock that has a just a bit of prog lite that leaves me unsatisfied. Luckily they would step it up big time for their followup.

 E Fu IL Sesto Giorno by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.95 | 54 ratings

E Fu IL Sesto Giorno
Metamorfosi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by RisingForce

3 stars ...E Fu il Sesto Giorno, this is the first Metamorfosi album, 1972.

This Progressive rock album is very interesting and good.

Even if the songs are a bit short but with a powerful rhythm section with good Guitar parts with classical passages and passages of flute and baroquisms and symphonic parts by Organ and Moog and the powerful charismatic voice of the singer and all that makes this album pretty original.

The band Metamorfosi and the album has the typical arrangements and atmospheres of the symphonic Italian Progressive but also with the Psychedelic vein of the early seventies especially influenced by rock musicals of ''Jesus Christ Superstar''1970 and also how are written the lyrics and cover images of the album.

....E Fu il Sesto Giorno, it's a good original Progressive album and that anticipates as an introduction what will be their second album.

METAMORFOSI ....E Fu il Sesto Giorno (1972) three stars and half (***1⁄2). .

In the same year 1972, Metamorfosi make another album, this time inspired to a poetic and literary work to the epic poem (Sommo Poeta) Dante Alighieri and the greatest works literature the Divine Comedy (La Divina Commedia) focused on the part of Inferno.

''Inferno'' is a masterpiece concept album creating a very complex Progressive music with characteristic symphonic baroque arrangements but with more powerful,heavy and dark sound and the voice of the singer Jimmy Spitaleri borders on Opera.

Metamorfosi,Inferno,1972, but this is another story .....

 Paradiso by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.35 | 33 ratings

Metamorfosi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The sequel of ''Inferno'', this time entitled ''Paradiso'', was already prepared by Metamorfosi, but due to unknown reasons the band never entered the studio to record it and split around mid-70's.Davide Spitaleri released two solo albums at the end of the decade, the first one under the name of Thor.During the 90's Spitaleri and keyboardist Enrico Olivieri gave birth to a second round of Metamorfosi's history and after some concerts the long-awaited ''Paradiso'' was finally recorded around 2000 with new members Leonardo Gallucci (bass, classical guitar) and Fabio Moresco (drums).The album saw the light in 2004 on Progressivamente.

A pleasant comeback with an updated but still deeply symphonic sound, strong operatic elements and Spilateri's voice in excellent shape rewards the listener with a surprising good album by a band that sounds as much inspired as during their 70's stint.As with ''Inferno'', the third work of Metamorfosi is divided in short pieces, all tightly connected to each other to form a long, epic work of Symphonic Rock, based on Dante's writings.The sound is heavily driven by Olivieri's monumental work on keyboards with epic synthesizer flights and plenty of romantic piano preludes, while there are also lots of choir parts in the album to complete pieces of pure Classical Music influence in a rock vein.As a result, ''Paradiso'' passes from delicate and emotional moments (some with an acoustic vibe) to cinematic, highly symphonic textures with a decent space for instrumental themes and even some darker parts in the process.Spilateri's voice is flawless: very emotional, very clean and extremely theatrical.Maybe the band should have used the analog keyboards a bit more, but still it is should be mentioned that the album flows in an amazing coherence with hardly any ''dead'' minutes.

Metamorfosi continued their occasional live appearances every now and then and one of them, following the release of ''Paradiso'', marked the first live album of the group, captured on December 24th, 2004 at Chiesa di S. Galla in Rome, but only released in 2011 on Suono Records under the dreamy title ''La Chiesa delle stelle''.

One of the consistent groups of Italian Prog with a deep Classical-inclined style next to compatriots Le Orme and Latte E Mielle.A welcome return full of operatic, warm and atmospheric moments of elegance.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 E Fu IL Sesto Giorno by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.95 | 54 ratings

E Fu IL Sesto Giorno
Metamorfosi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by coasterzombie

3 stars This solid debut from Metamorfosi demonstrates a powerful sound that would come into its own on their next album. Call it a work-in-progress: E Fu Il Sesto Giorno...captures a band not fully aware of their own talent. This unrealized potential will be fully exploited six months later on the fantastic Inferno, widely regarded as the band's masterpiece. But the first album is actually pretty decent and, while it does drag at times, the 37-minute length doesn't feel tiring. That being said, Metamorfosi's first album is one you will only feel like listening to every once in a while, not unlike the primordial debuts of Il Balletto Di Bronzo or Rovescio Della Medaglia. Still, the elements of a notable RPI album are all here, and Italian Prog collectors will need to seek it out along their way. For everyone else however, the album can be passed on and overlooked.

Vocalist Jimmy Spitaleri is the first thing you notice about this band. His stately, majestic delivery with its distinctive vibrato has as many detractors as fans. I tend to like it, but I suppose it is an acquired taste. His voice pairs nicely with Enrico Oliveri's keyboard talent, as fully demonstrated on "Il Sesto Giorno." This opening song features intermittent use of bass and drums, a technique that will be fully implemented on Inferno. "Il Sesto Giorno" is almost a prototype for the sound Metamorfosi would later perfect. "...E Lui Amava I Fiori" could be classified as cookie-cutter; the more traditional song-based track isn't necessarily psych but a bit closer to proto-prog. The Mothers-of-Invention-inspired background vocals crack me up but they're kind of cute and endearing. You have to try really hard to hate this band.

The longest song on the album, "Crepuscolo" plods along and meanders its way through a variety of parts and pieces. Again, nothing terribly progressive here despite the length, but somehow you just "know" it's "prog" if that makes sense. The melodic "Hiroshima" is enjoyable if somewhat forgettable. This theme continues on "Nuova Luce," the most beat-pop track here and a skippable one in my opinion. The superior "Sogno E Realta" foreshadows the material Metamorfosi will later develop on Inferno, as a mysterious organ and bass pattern set the foundation for Spitaleri's slithering vocal. After the drums kick in, he assertively leads the group on a powerful odyssey, ultimately the album's most rewarding. The mediocre "Inno Di Gloria" returns to a decidedly sixties sound and closes things up.

 Inferno by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.98 | 214 ratings

Metamorfosi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A concept album based, of course, on Dante's poetic vision of Hell, Inferno seems to draw a lot of comparisons to Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, probably because of the presence of the odd snatch of classical music arranged for rock band here and there. But at the same time, I don't think they sound that much like ELP - they're just resorting to an approach which Keith Emerson popularised, but should probably be connected with The Nice rather than ELP. As a whole, I found the musicianship on this album entertaining enough but hardly as gripping as most of their Italian prog contemporaries; it's a pleasant listen, but not a great one.
 E Fu IL Sesto Giorno by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.95 | 54 ratings

E Fu IL Sesto Giorno
Metamorfosi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars True metamorphosis right here

Metamorfosi are a part Rome, part Sicilian-rooted RPI band who released two albums back in the 70s and a later comeback album. Their second album "Inferno" is considered an RPI classic by many but this debut album is often overlooked. This is unfortunate because the album is very respectable and one of those fascinating bridge albums where you can hear the "metamorphosis" to progressive rock occurring right before you ears. This album was released about 6 months before "Inferno" showing what great leaps were being made in a small amount of time.

All of the dynamic weapons of "Inferno" are already on displays here, albeit in a more constrained and traditional format. That is what fascinates about listening to this. You can hear what is coming, but here they are still hanging onto the more traditional rock and pop song structures, even as the performances begin to morph. On "Inferno" the shift is complete, with the songs themselves blurring into weirdness and experiments. But here, you experience the same band and their formidable weapons but they are only on the verge of letting go, they are still clinging to the normality of the "song." What this means is that fans of real RPI may be disappointed, but fans of Italian pop with proggy interludes should well enjoy this.

Jimmy Spitaleri has one of the legendary voices of RPI. Bold and authoritative, deep and close to operatic, he commands the tracks while singing. Enrico Olivieri is the other leader here, an amazing keyboardist whose organ and piano are the striking trademark of the group. In Metamorfosi they have a great understanding for giving the voice and keyboards "space." They don't clutter the sound and in fact the guitar is a minor instrument in this band's sound. The rhythm section is very solid and you have a great stage to enjoy the two main assets of the group. You can "hear" everything they are doing.

The band is often described as "dark" but they really aren't, not in the same sense as a Jacula. They are simply majestic, the voice and organ tinged with an almost formal dryness that some think of as dark. It can sound gothic-classical at times but not quite dark. Highlights include the fabulous opener "Il Sesto Giorno" with a drop-dead gorgeous flute motif that is mixed with the piano/organ blend, the organ immersing you in a very classical, melancholic feeling. It's a great song just riding that edge, certainly prog, but short and still partially contained. "Crepuscolo" is a great 9-minute heavy ride with lots of jamming and intense vocals, the drummer goes totally snake on this one, and the bass is upfront and audible. This tracks gets the closest to the sound we will hear on the second album.

The remaining tracks still have the leftover 60s rock feel and make the album much less consistent than "Inferno" from a prog-rock perspective, but the better half of the songs have enough good stuff to thrill fans of the early RPI. A good transitional album of the subgenre, but again, not fully realized from a progressive perspective. Bottom line, two four-star tracks, some three star tracks, and one two star track. Of interest to RPI fans, not essential to anyone else.

 Inferno by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.98 | 214 ratings

Metamorfosi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Keyboard and piano driven Italian prog which sports an enticingly obscure and meaningless cover. It's funny, back in the 70's there was a definite sound for each country producing prog. The Italians were lush and smooth with a band number that usually totaled 30. The Germans were rougher and hard with chip on their shoulder, usually comprising four guys, the French were usually keyboard dominated and goofy and the Brits sounded like a combination of all the above.

'Metamorfosi' is all a bit too ELP for my liking. Just as I'm about to get bored with this some nice flute appears followed by a really good tune in 'Spacciatore di droga' - don't ask me to translate - my Italian is rustier than my German...

Credit where credit's due... Inferno had a good strong vocalist in Jimmy Spitaleri. I have to say though, in 40 years I ain't ever heard of an Italian called Jimmy. What's the hell's going on there?

To my ears it's all a bit repetitive, but at least there's no guitars for a change. Not bad, a straight three stars.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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