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METAMORFOSI

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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InfernoInferno
Import
Btf 2008
Audio CD$22.99
$29.99 (used)
E Fu Il Sesto GiornoE Fu Il Sesto Giorno
Import
Btf 2008
Audio CD$15.71
$14.76 (used)
InfernoInferno
Import
Media Arte Kr
Audio CD$17.00 (used)
SpleenSpleen
Import
Btf 2008
Audio CD$22.91
$11.98 (used)
InfernoInferno
Ams 2014
Vinyl$23.87
$49.40 (used)
ParadisoParadiso
2004
Audio CD$44.99 (used)
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METAMORFOSI discography


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

3.02 | 36 ratings
E Fu IL Sesto Giorno
1972
3.97 | 172 ratings
Inferno
1973
3.31 | 25 ratings
Paradiso
2004

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

2.00 | 2 ratings
La Chiesa delle Stelle
2011

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METAMORFOSI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Paradiso by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.31 | 25 ratings

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Paradiso
Metamorfosi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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.

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 E Fu IL Sesto Giorno  by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.02 | 36 ratings

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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.

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 Inferno by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.97 | 172 ratings

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Inferno
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.

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 E Fu IL Sesto Giorno  by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.02 | 36 ratings

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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.

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 Inferno by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.97 | 172 ratings

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Inferno
Metamorfosi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Dobermensch

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.

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 Inferno by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.97 | 172 ratings

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Inferno
Metamorfosi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars Metamorfosi's Inferno is a remarkable record that sits somewhere in the middle between Italian pop, rock, opera and synth-dominated heavy prog. It is often called dark and sinister, an impression further enhanced by the bleak artwork, and it certainly is quite gothic from a 70s perspective. Of course, by today's standards it is fairly mild and friendly.

A common critique is the production, or rather the mix, which is rather blurry. The keyboards are very upfront and drown out much of the over-compressed rhythm section. Luckily, the keyboard work is very original and outstanding, a word of praise not often given by this reviewer, at least not to rock albums. A proper mix might have made the impact of the chilling synths and the creepy church organs much grander, but on the other hand, the production gives the album a very personal sound and atmosphere. As a reference, only VDGG's more sinister moments of Pawn Hearts come to mind. Besides, the mix is not so bad that it spoils the experience, just crank this one up and it works!

In true RPI fashion we get remarkable vocals: very dynamic, heavy and emotive. A sort of lower register version of Banco if you like. Also the music matches the high RPI standards, being very diverse and imaginative, sometimes lyrical and romantic, sometimes heavy, sometimes creepy and even avant. But everything blends together quite well. Only by exception do we get fragmented material such as the short Avari which has an abrupt tempo change before fading out prematurely. But that's a small price to pay for such original music.

Not everyone's taste for sure but that only makes it more interesting to investigate. A truly remarkable and excellent album.

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 E Fu IL Sesto Giorno  by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.02 | 36 ratings

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E Fu IL Sesto Giorno
Metamorfosi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars Monster Italian Symphonic Rock band,formed at late 60's,when Sicilian singer Davide ''Jimmy'' Spitaleri met the members of the beat group ''I Frammenti'', led by keyboardist Enrico Olivieri.It took the new Rome-based band about two years to refine their sound and come up with a style closer to the rising force of progressive rock.The 29th May of 1972 was the date when their debut finally sees the light entitled ''E fu il seste giorno'' on Vedette Label (re-released on CD by Vinyl Magic in 2000) with lyrics dealing with the positives and negatives of the human nature and an obscure cover featuring Spitaleri in the role of Jesus Christ!

''E fu il seste giorno'' is one of the greatest examples of the growing progressive scene in Italy.Obviously Spilateri and Olivieri are the driving forces in this debut.Spilateri has a dramatic,emotional operatic color in his voice,making every sung line a pure heaven for the listener.Olivieri performs strongly, as he uses a variety of keyboards,including heavy amounts of organ,some tasteful Classical-sounding harpsichord and a few moog solos and grooves as well.Guitarist Luciano Tambourro is another major member for the band,delivering excellent guitar breaks and some really strong riffs and solos.The final result is a great album along the lines of BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO,DEEP PURPLE,NEW TROLLS and ATOMIC ROOSTER with lots of memorable moments and a high level of musicianship.Personally I liked this one a lot and recommend it to every prog fan without any exceptions or second thoughts!Excellent stuff!

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 Paradiso by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.31 | 25 ratings

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Paradiso
Metamorfosi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I'm a big fan of METAMORFOSI's "Inferno" album from 1973, but this comeback record some 30 years later pales in comparison. Piano and vocals lead the way here but something is missing. In fact a 3 star rating seems a little high for me but in the end that's my rating. This is a concept album with a lot of short tracks.

"Introduzione" is spacey to open before piano then spoken Italian words arrive. It's fuller before 2 minutes. "Sfera Di Fuoco" features theatrical vocals and bombast. "Cielo Della Luna" opens with solo piano as reserved vocals come in. They turn passionate as a fuller sound arrives. Contrasts continue. "Salita A Mercurio" offers up more theatrical vocals with piano and drums standing out. "Cielo Di Mercurio" is piano led before it kicks in around a minute with synths leading.

"Salita A Venere" has some very impressive piano melodies throughout. "Cielo Di Venere" opens with acoustic guitar as fragile vocals join in. "Il Sole" is an orchestral sounding instrumental. "Cielo Di Marte" features drums and a full sound before it settles late. "Cielo Di Giove" opens with synths before a full sound arrives as the tempo picks up. It settles with piano 1 1/2 minutes in and fragile vocals join in. Some nice bass 3 1/2 minutes in then it kicks back in with synths. "Cielo Di Saturno" has some passionate vocals. "Stelle Fise" features drums and synths and some prominant bass. "Empireo" is uptempo early with bass, piano and drums leading. It settles a minute in as the tempo continues to change. Synths and guitar later. "La Chiesa Delle Stelle" is the best track in my opinion as we finally get some emotion 3 minutes in. Organ ends it.

Barely 3 stars.

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 Inferno by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.97 | 172 ratings

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Inferno
Metamorfosi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by AsiaticFox

4 stars This album is very hot (pun definitely intended).

An epic musical masterpiece revolving around Dante's Inferno (which is a classic masterpiece itself). This album is filled to the brim with organ and synthesizer sounds. For someone like me, this album is, to put it bluntly, droolworthy. I recommend this album to anyone who really, REALLY loves keyboards. Dark, brooding organ, morose harpsichord, feverish and wild synthesizer....this album has it all.

Keyboard sounds aside, the way the album progresses is outstanding. Bouncing back and forth between sad piano/harpsichord passages and mad, hellish organ/synth passages, it will take you on a wild and (slightly) terrifying trip to the 'Inferno'. The music swirls around in your head and gets you going (at least, that's how I felt whilst listening to it).

I'm bestowing this album 4 stars (well, 4.5 really, but you can't do half stars, unfortunately). I would give it 5 if the production quality was a bit higher. Other than that, I don't have any gripes with it. I have nothing but praise for this wonderful Italian album.

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 Inferno by METAMORFOSI album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.97 | 172 ratings

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Inferno
Metamorfosi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by AdamHearst

4 stars I love any album with an 'Inferno' concept... not being an Italian speaker myself, i'm not sure if this album is based on Dante's Inferno or if it's just a general theme of Hell. All i know is that this album is imbued with tartarean darkness, even without the words making sense. An ominous and malefic atmosphere is exuded by many of the sections... especially the darker moments of the anthemic 'Introduzione' and the diabolical 'Lucifero'.

The songs all bleed together into one long, heavy, infernal suite... the music is very classically-influenced, but the majority of the material is up-tempo and synth-driven. Enrico Olivieri's multi-tracked and multi-layered synthesizer/organ onslaught is the band's primary driving force, and is also the most interesting aspect of Metmorfosi's sound. Olivieri displays both technical virtuosity and tasteful musical restraint... I love the way he manipulates the analog synth sounds as he plays; the album is totally saturated in classic warm Mooginess.

Lead singer Jimmy Spitaleri has a dark resonant baritone and sings with quite an operatic flair. Sometimes his vibrato is a little 'over-the-top' and verges on comical, but his style suits these dramatic songs very well. The excellent vocal harmonies on 'Lussuriosi' remind me of Uriah Heep's David Byron.

The production is very raw, and the cymbals especially have a very grating and brittle sound... it's a shame the drums were not recorded better. The rest of the instruments sound good and the mixing is perfect (for my tastes) with everything having approximately the same volume and balance. The rawness does add a lot of bite and heaviness to the album, so i don't mind that it's not a crystal clear Alan Parsons type production.

I highly recommend Inferno to anyone with even a slight interest in Rock Progressivo Italiano... i even think fans of 70's 'Heavy Prog' may find something to like on this album.

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