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Iron Butterfly - Metamorphosis CD (album) cover

METAMORPHOSIS

Iron Butterfly

 

Proto-Prog

3.44 | 77 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars IB's fourth studio album is somewhat of a return to form after their disastrous ball album, but by then guitarist Erik Brann had left to form another goup with other ex- IB members. He was replaced by two guitarist Mike Pinera and Larry Reinhardt, thus return the Butterfly to a quintet again. The fact of adding two guitarist will not alter their sound too much, though. If the album was well received critcally and artistically much better also, it sold quite poorly causing the IB to fold its wings. Compared to Ball, the album is much more rock-sounding (with a touch of blues) and in itself is this is vast improvement and there is a more political/rebellious anti-war sense in some of their tracks. After a small intro that is to raise our hopes for a more adventurous album, New Day and Shady Lady are still your distinctly IB numbers with some soul influences but this time sounding a bit like fellow LA band Steppenwolf. Worthy of note, four track's lyrics were written by a certain Edmondson from that particular group. And this might be the problem, actually, IB sound completely empty of inspiration at least in songwriting dept. There are still a lot of tracks with a definte Motown influences, such as the less than good Stone Believer or the poignant Soldier In Their Town. The second last track Easy Rider is again a wide call to the wolf from the steppe with its screeching guitars. Not completely absent from their earlier albums, there is a good dose of Blues influence on this album as can be heard in the lengthy 14-min finale Butterfly Bleu, which will be a likely exit for the group and the highlight of the album with its psyched-out middle section.

As I wrote above IB will break up around mid-71, but will reconvene for a further two albums in 75 and 76, but both Scorching Beauty and Sun And Steel will not make much an imact on the public for one evident reason: IB had said everything in their first two albums. I, myself only heard once or twice those albums in the 70's and they certainly left me no lasting impression. IB has again reformed in the 80's and later in the 90's. Up until now, the group still tours the club scene around the globe, much to the joy of nostalgic fans. But if IB was ever of interest to progheads, it was because of their embryonic days were they were certainly among the head of the pack of groundbreaking groups that helped Pop metamorphose into ROCK.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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