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METAPHYSICAL ANIMATION

Eclectic Prog • United States


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Metaphysical Animation biography
Founded in Gainesville, USA in 1968 - Disbanded in 1973

Established in 1968 in Gainesville, Florida, the band METAPHYSICAL ANIMATION soon moved to Miami and made it their home. Founded by guitarist Alberto DE ALMAR and keyboardist Bill SABELLA, the band released its debut, eponymous double album in 1973 in a limited run of only 50 copies in a white demo sleeve with the band name written in pen by hand. With the resurgence in interest regarding psychedelic music from the 70's, a lot of interest in this rare album was suddenly sparked. This resulted in a reissue of the album on Italian label "Black Widow Records" in 2019.

The line-up for the original recording of the album consisted the original founders along with Steve MARGOLIS on bass and Robbie HANSEN on drums. The album was pressed professionally, but the band couldn't get signed to a major label and by 1976, they disbanded and all went their separate ways. After a copy of the original pressing was discovered among some boxes of radio demos and jingles and the posting of album tracks, the interest in this band grew quickly. Three of the four members of the band reluctantly gave permission for a CD reissue, and it is now widely available for purchase.

The music is a definite and rare progressive gem from 1973, a time when progressive music was young and many other bands were trying out their hand in it. The psychedelic sound of the record mixed with blues and jazz fusion ends up reflecting the early sound of the bands that were famous at the time, specifically early YES, CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY, SANTANA, MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA and so on. This is definitely one for the lovers of early progressive music with just the right touch of blues rock thrown in.


======Bio by TCat======

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3.05 | 2 ratings
Metaphysical Animation
1973

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 Metaphysical Animation by METAPHYSICAL ANIMATION album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.05 | 2 ratings

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Metaphysical Animation
Metaphysical Animation Eclectic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Metaphysical Animation were an American band formed in 1968. The album cover you see here is for the original 1973 double vinyl release of 50 copies. However, what we have in reality is the 2019 CD release by the Italian label Black Widow, with much more interesting cover art. It's a slightly coloured, semi-abstract and a bit Escherian white drawing on a black background, metaphysical animation handwritten in white on the left upper corner. The band page info is based on the narrative printed on the innerfold (which is an excerpt from an album review in the Internet). There was one detail in the info that I concider a little awkward. "1973 when progressive rock was new". If this music was made around 1969, that would make more sense. THEN we might even talk about a groundbreaking work, but in 1973 this kind of prog was more of a yesterday's thing. I would compare this to the eponymous 1970 album by QUATERMASS. Only that here the electric guitar is the biggest hero, not the organ.

There's 63 minutes of music. In my opinion, it's not only breathtakingly intense but in the end quite samey all the way, that listening to it entirely makes me tired of it every time. That I'm not a big fan of this (or this kind of) music naturally doesn't mean it wouldn't be good in other criteria. Can't deny the quartet was one hell of a band with loads of skill and energy -- in playing, if not necessarily in songwriting. In short, this is mostly fast-paced and fusiony blues-rock. The vocals of keyboardist Bill Sabella are rather ballsy and use heavy vibrato in the similar vein as the vocalists in Beggars Opera and Uriah Heep. I wonder why the unnamed blog writer cited in the innerfold compares it to Jon Anderson. "As for the vocals, here is where you'll see the strongest Yes influence. They're definitely Anderson-like, but not in that overly high-pitched and strained style that some Yes-influenced bands insisted on." Anyway, on the whole I agree that if you imagine a ballsy heavy blues-rock band with an energetic sound dominated by electric guitar and organ, and influenced by Mahavishnu Orchestra and early Yes, you're more or less on the map.

The lengths of the eight tracks vary between five and thirteen minutes. The longer they are, the more they have solos (the organ solo on the highlight piece 'Better Way' is excellent) and the more they have a jam-like feel. The instrumental 9-minute opener 'Two Songs in Space' is also among the highlights. It has an awesome, psychedelic space rock groove, and the guitar of Alberto De Almar is simply speaking in tongues -- by the way, there's a brief citation of the Beatles tune 'Norwegian Wood'. But as I said, towards the end this long album tends to make me tired. The moods of the pieces are rather similar (groovy and 'bluesy' in an uplifting rather than moody way). Both guitar and organ play intensely fast melodies. Even though the vocals are in the end quite sparse, they are maybe the biggest reason for the feeling of sameness when thinking of the songs themselves.

If you like Quatermass and that kind of instrumentally oriented, jam-like and fiery blues-rock from the late 60's/ early 70's era, this is for you.

Thanks to tapfret for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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