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METAMORPHOSIS

Neo-Prog • Switzerland


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Metamorphosis biography
METAMORPHOSIS is the project of Swiss composer/keyboardist/drummer Jean-Pierre Schenk, born in 1953. At age 19, he learned to play drums on his own and a year later, he was already sharing the stage with a number of rock and jazz musicians. In 1971, alongwith guitarist Giovanni Esposito, he created the band NATURE whose music was very much inspired by PINK FLOYD. Years later, and after looking for the ever-elusive manager, NATURE split up. In 2001, Schenk and Esposito joined forces again and invited bassist Dominique Schlafer aboard. Guitarist David Grillon and flutist Milena Zaharieva, who appear on their first album, would soon become permanent band members also.

All of METAMORPHOSIS' albums still bear a strong Floydian streak, with shades of ELOY and especially ALAN PARSONS: extremely laid-back music, even melancholic, full of magnificent keyboards and wailing guitars. The compositions are accessible and memorable, the sound is absolutely gorgeous and the vocals, sung by Schenk himself, are as laid back as the music. If you're in a hurry while listening to this album, you may be expecting fireworks that never come. However, if you like your music warm, serene and peaceful throughout (say, a sort of PINK FLOYD without the "anger"), the album won't disappoint

Highly recommended if you like the FLOYD's "The Division Bell" or "A Momentary Lapse of Reason". Should also appeal to fans of SATELLITE and RPWL, whose vocalist Yogi Lang sounds a bit like Schenk.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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METAMORPHOSIS discography


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

3.60 | 38 ratings
After All These Years
2002
3.29 | 33 ratings
Nobody Cares
2003
3.69 | 44 ratings
Then All Was Silent
2005
3.67 | 55 ratings
Dark
2009
3.75 | 20 ratings
The Turning Point
2016
3.78 | 18 ratings
I'm Not a Hero
2021

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

METAMORPHOSIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

METAMORPHOSIS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

METAMORPHOSIS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 6 ratings
Silent Knowledge
2011

METAMORPHOSIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 I'm Not a Hero by METAMORPHOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.78 | 18 ratings

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I'm Not a Hero
Metamorphosis Neo-Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Metamorphosis, the neo-prog project of keyboardist/vocalist Jean-Pierre Schenk has released its sixth studio album in 2021. The band has Schenk's emotional voice and dark & melancholy style as its main recognizable traits, but there's always some Floydian ('Division Bell'-era) electric guitar as well. The types of synths and metal guitars are tasteful as ever on this record. The atmospheres remind me a bit of Marillion on the 'Clutching at Straws' album, though Metamorphosis is less sophisticated from a compositional point of view. Usually the songs are made up of a few chord patterns and some lead guitar themes. For me personally, the concept album 'Then All Was Silent' (2005) was the record on which Metamorphosis just clicked with me and it has remained on my playlist ever since. The other albums of the band are usually a bit too much alike, and though 'I'm Not a Hero' isn't going to change that completely, it does sound like the band has progressed over the years. The vocals and lyrics by Schenk are still - and I'm glad for it - filled with a childlike hope for a better world and an senior type of sadness because of it. He fights, he struggles, he looses, he simply doesn't have an answer for it all. He drowns in it, and so does the listener. I think this is why I have always had a soft spot for this Schenker and his sorrowful, bleak type of neo-prog. He kind of makes you feel for him - which in turn is a unique musical experience. This album has a strong run of songs with the slow burner 'Dark World' and the catchy title track and it even has an instrumental track 'When Life Starts Again'. 'More is Less' is another strong song. As with almost any album these days the album could have been more tightly knit together had the two least favorite songs been cut from the record. In the end this is a strong release for Metamorphosis and it should appeal to a lot of neo-prog and crossover prog fans out here. I'll round my rating up to a four star rating, because I don't want Schenker to feel even worse about life. That's just me joking, this album will stay on my playlist just like that other fine record.
 I'm Not a Hero by METAMORPHOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.78 | 18 ratings

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I'm Not a Hero
Metamorphosis Neo-Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

3 stars Now this is the 6th band album in the meanwhile, delivered by a trio deriving from the French speaking part of Switzerland. The moniker METAMORPHOSIS is standing for a project more or less driven by multi-instrumentalist Jean-Pierre Schenk (keyboards, vocals). On this occasion reduced to a trio, he's supported by Olivier Guenat (guitars, bass) and drummer Alain Widmer again. Former member Gabrielle Mäder still has contributed some lyrics. They are offering fine neo prog styled mid-tempo songs, occasionally arranged with a proper heavy note, also some spacey ingredients and a quite passable singing voice.

The opening dramatic Dark World delivers nice choir arrangements and heavy riffs. 'I've tried my best, I'm not a hero', this probably marks the album's essential statement, presented within the second track, which surely turns out to be an album highlight. So Now What stylistically differs due to it's groove and drive. I'd like to draw some references to the likes of Phi, Clepsydra, Collage, Satellite, Perfect Storm, Eloy, to name a few. Spheric and melancholic keyboard patterns all over, each and every guitar solo is well appointed. Not really spectacular, but still a solid album in any case. 3.5 stars on the PA scale are well deserved.

 I'm Not a Hero by METAMORPHOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.78 | 18 ratings

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I'm Not a Hero
Metamorphosis Neo-Prog

Review by alainPP

4 stars METAMORPHOSIS is the 2001 project by Jean-Pierre Schenk. He released his 6th album on a Floydian sound, Teutonic on the notes of ELOY, RPWL, IQ too. A melancholic, intimate music, with dark and soft climates, nervous and melodic keyboards and a heavy side by the guitar. An album that comes more than 5 years after its last achievement.

"Dark World" opens with a neo prog vein, high spoken voice, latent sound with imposing bass, well placed synths; break phrasing, soaring keyboards raising the tone to heavy riff in an apocalyptic crescendo. "I'm Not a Hero" continues, bass lit by the keyboard, repetitive hypnotic atmosphere with explosive guitar of any beauty removing this gloom. '' Little Stars Disintegrate 'and its superb rise, we approach Division Bell' here, it's neo dripping without explosion but delicacy and spleen, bordering on despair with monotonous vocals and bewitching keyboards. "When Life Starts Again" bass and keyboards flirting with jazzy "Subway" then spatial bringing in heavy guitar for a sublime romantic slow instrumental. '' More Is Less '' on a Zeppelinian variation, a title that merges with the others, majestic, tormented, emphatic, bold and enjoyable final solo ā la Iris. "I Will Leave Tonight" fresher, mid-tempo, symphonic, basic neo that recalls at the orchestral level CLEPSYDRA for the synth-guitar fusion; hovering then energetic, the most sung and melodic; the choir surprises and brings back to a surprising, grandiloquent classical atmosphere. "Leftovers" posed, impressive guitar sound; an ode to today's gloomy life? , an ode of hope with reminiscences of the Satellite of yesteryear; the voice is imposing, reminds me of the tune of "Streets of Philadelphia" supported by the metronomic drums. 'So Now What' synthetic, concise, edgy to launch '' So Hard's the Road '' with a melting intro, a slow and ineluctable melancholy rise without end to the apotheosis of the instruments.

The CD to own, an imposing, austere sound leading to melancholy reverie on cold, dark and intimate landscapes; a singular sound leading to make you leave quietly far from the stressful ambient world with delicate harmonies which make it definitively enter a potential top 21.

 After All These Years by METAMORPHOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.60 | 38 ratings

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After All These Years
Metamorphosis Neo-Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Metamorphosis - After All These Years (2002)

Swiss neo-prog project by Jean-Pierre Schenk. Though a bit typical for the genre, I must admit I have a sweat spot for this man and his melancholy symphonic rock. 'Then All Was Silent' is a long-time favorite concept album of mine. From the get go 'After All These Years' starts with a sombre melody and vocals. Without the concept feel the lyrics tend towards the politically & socially naive, but somehow Schenk charmes his way through. With his Marillion-like seriousness and personal - if not dramatic performance he rises above the bulk of neo-prog acts. I sometimes just feel understood by this music. Throughout the album Metamorphosis thrives in simple but moving musical ideas, with little noodling. Some of the electric guitars are played beautifully and add to the atmospheric Floydian approach. Bass and drums are there to support keyboards, guitar and vocals. With a running time of 65 minutes this album could have easily been strengthened in the cutting room, though I must admit I listen to it for its relaxing take on the genre. Production and sound is fine as well. Three and a halve stars.

 Then All Was Silent  by METAMORPHOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.69 | 44 ratings

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Then All Was Silent
Metamorphosis Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Among Jean-Pierre Schenk's ambitions was to create a concept album and steadily remove the sound of Metamorphosis from any 70's-related influences.He would make true the first one with the next album of the band ''Then all was silent'', writing a story connected with cloning and war, refering to goverments creating human war machines with no feelings, except one, Kenny.The album was recorded between December 2003 and July 2004 with Giova Esposito on guitars and producer David Grillon helping out with some additional electric textures.Olivier Guenat (solo guitar) and Milena Zaharieva (flute) appear also in one track.This came out in 2005 again on Galileo Records.

The attempt to make Metamorphosis sound more original was partly succesful for Jean-Pierre Schenk, truth is the Genesis-inspired keyboard leaks were somewhat reduced, although some grandiose, orchestral backgrounds come definitely out of the British legends' repertoire, on the other hand the PINK FLOYD influence had become the band's driving force, albeit in a much more modern fashion.I find Schenk's vocals less efficient than in the past, he reminds me of a more irritating version of LIKE WENDY's Bert Heinen, a band with which Metamorphosis has many similarities.The album is based on long, atmospheric, instrumental textures with some slight spacious and symphonic soundscapes, covering nicely the sci-fi concept, still ''Then all was silent'' lacks some of the killer melodies and monster arrangements of the previous work.Slow tempos, FLOYD-ian synth explorations, nice guitar work by Esposito and Grillon and acoustic textures all the way with the story unfolding throughout, but the dynamics are limited to the power of the concept with Schenk avoiding to pass it into the album's sound.According to his words, this work was downright pessimistic about the future of humans, so he managed to deliver highly emotional music with the focus on atmospheric instrumentals and lyrics.

Very good album for the purpose it serves.Not as good as the excellent ''Nobody cares'', still a nice pearl of FLOYD-ian Neo Prog.Would it sound a bit more energetic (like on the beautiful ''Beyond the wall''), it would be a trully excellent release.Warmly recommended.

 Nobody Cares by METAMORPHOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.29 | 33 ratings

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Nobody Cares
Metamorphosis Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Dominique Schlafer's service with Metamorphosis would proove to be really brief and for the second release of the project Jean-Pierre Schenk would handle the bass synth to record the rhythmic parts.David Grillon's role would be upgraded, as he plays the guitar in five of the eight new tracks, while new face Milena Zaharieva plays the flute in one track.With guitarist Giova Esposito as the only other stable member, Metamorphosis' sophomre effort would be revealed in 2003 on Gallileo Records, entitled ''Nobody cares''.

Jean-Pierre Schenk is a huge PINK FLOYD fan, no question about it, and this abum sounds a lot like his idols.But instead you should actually remove Richard Wright from the picture and enter Mark Kelly of MARILLION instead.This would be an accurate description of Metamorphosis' style, which combines the spacey Art Rock textures of mid-70's PINK FLOYD with the nervous and angular synth layers of early MARILLION.The compositions are long, atmospheric and sensitive with interesting melodies, nice background keyboards, including organ, and delicate vocal lines in a full FLOYD-ian mood, as it happens during the first half of the album.While unfolding, ''Nobody cares'' becomes more and more versatile and interesting.''Full moon's rising tonight'' contains strong GENESIS vibes in the flute and acoustic parts, not to mention a more PETER GABRIEL-type of singing, to go along with powerful synth flashes, while the 13-min. long ''Glimmer'' combines the spacey, lyrical side of PINK FLOYD with some IQ keyboard grandiosity in the symphonic parts.Among the great keyboard rains some lovely piano lines help on delivering mellow and calmer, imaginative soundscapes.The grand epilogue comes with the closing, almost 10-min. long, ''Before all is over'', a beautiful mix of spacey, orchestral textures with rhythmic MARILLION-esque tunes ala ''Market square heroes'' and expressive vocal breaks with organ supporting.

Amazing, melodic, rich and atmospheric Neo/Space Prog Rock with efficient guitar/keyboards textures and excellent vocals.A must-have for all PINK FLOYD and MARILLION freaks, definitely highly recommended.

 Dark by METAMORPHOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.67 | 55 ratings

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Dark
Metamorphosis Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars Metamorphosis is the brainchild of Swiss multi-instrumentalist Jean-Pierre Schenk who on this album provides vocals, keyboards, drums and bass and is joined by two guitarists, Olivier Guenat and Roger Burri. This is his fourth album, and was released in 2009. His other albums saw him being inspired very heavily by Pink Floyd but this album sees him stretch a little further and move away from the late Seventies feel that he previously favoured. 'Dark' is an interesting title, as it is the movement between dark and light that makes this album so interesting to listen to as there is just one contrast after another. There may be gentle vocals and repeated almost single finger keyboard motifs, but in the background there can be frenetic riffing that would be more in keeping with Malmsteen than Gilmour.

There is a great many layers in the music, and it is this that is still most in keeping with Floyd, but it can be argued that this has more in common with Porcupine Tree (especially), IQ and even Galahad at times. There is a real depth and purpose to the music, and although at times some of the melodies can be a little simplistic the overall impression is that this is a really enjoyable album. It certainly benefits from repeated plays and is a step forward from his previous albums. Well worth investigating.

 Dark by METAMORPHOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.67 | 55 ratings

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Dark
Metamorphosis Neo-Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After a long hiatus (four years) this band comes back with a nice release. Not fully symphonic because the band is mixing several musical styles (neo, symph, even prog metal at times). Still, this album could please fans from these three genres.

The opener "Song For My Son" holds each of these aspects. The second song "The Fight Is Over" is of simple structure and more (hard) rocking even if some Eastern influences add a special touch.

The longest song available "Hey Man" features each element I have outlined in my introduction. Melodic, prog metallic, symphonic: you get it all! A special mention for the guitar work. This song is a highlight and one of their all-time best. This "Dark" album is a very good surprise. Guitar is shining all the way through: "Knowing All I Do Is Worth Nothing" is another example. This one is somewhat "Genesis" oriented. The rock ballad "You" is also well performed and offers superb melodies and some great guitar breaks. It's a simple song in its structure but very catchy and pleasant. It is one of the most symphonic of the whole work.

The second longest song (for six second) is quite upbeat: the prog metal elements are plenty but this one is truly more prog than metal (on the contrary of the hordes of bands catalogued in this genre). The long instrumental intro (five minutes) is a real delight to listen to.

When vocals enter the scene, a definite "IQ" feel is invading. But the band shouldn't be blamed for that. They are pleasant and are merging with the music quite well. Again, the closing section is just perfect: sustained keyboards and wonderful guitar. It is another highlight.

This is a very good album. Even if it lasts for more than an hour, one doesn't feel like it since most of the songs are quite enjoyable. Four stars is my rating. This "Dark" album is easily their best one IMHHO. Well done guys! Recommended.

 Then All Was Silent  by METAMORPHOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.69 | 44 ratings

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Then All Was Silent
Metamorphosis Neo-Prog

Review by 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.

 Nobody Cares by METAMORPHOSIS album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.29 | 33 ratings

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Nobody Cares
Metamorphosis Neo-Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This is my second review for this Swiss band which is catalogued as "Symphonic Prog".

Well, honestly it should probably bettert sit under neo prog category but I don't decide this... Just listen to the opener "Looking For Somewhere" to have some sort of an approach. A cliché of when they were three, really. OK, it is not too bad. But still?It has been heard tens of times (to say the least as far as I am concerned).

Things are not getting any better with "Home Again": some poor vocals are destroying this syrupy ballad. It is best avoided. You might know what I suggest in these cases: press next of course.

What follows is average music: borrowed themes all the way through even if some emotional moments are available ("Full Moon Rising Tonight") and the best track from this work: the long and very much guitar-oriented "Glimmer". THE one and only highlight.

This album might please any neo-prog fan who is not too much concerned about creativity. You might know that this is not quite my profile?It is also quite incredible how bands decide about the title of a track or an album. In this case, calling this one as "Nobody Cares" is really an indication?Even if the final guitar solo available during the closing number ("Before All Is Over") is damned good!

Two stars.

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

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