Band Website: www.metaphor.org
Label: Independent Release (2019)
Rating: Brilliant! Everything a Symphonic Prog Album Should be.
I’m so happy to present the new, fourth studio release from San Francisco’s Metaphor, a band I’ve been following since their first release way back in 2000! Entitled The Pearl, this new release, like their previous ones is thematic and I guess you could say conceptual as it lyrically tells a tale drenched in Fantasy and Sci-Fi. Not that it’s that overt, but that is the story line. Clocking in at sixty-one minutes we’re treated to nine compositions most of which are anywhere from six to nine minutes. Stylistically this is classic Symphonic Prog with it’s inspirational roots going back to early Genesis, al-be-it performed with a certain contemporary flair. You will definitely recognize the prog tropes; long instrumental introductions, many shifts in time and tempo, and different musical segments all stitched together to create a complex patchwork of musical ideas. This is music that is somewhat more intricate both in terms of composition and musical performance. While Metaphor are adept at reaching the sweet melodic heights you can also expect to hear plenty of minor, diminished and augmented chord-play giving their music a wonderful “yin and yang” quality. These are compositions full of musical twists and turns, where things can stop on a dime and head off in other directions and yet all of it hangs together through complex melodic patterns and instrumental themes. If I had to pin down a sonic reference point for you this is music that has much in common with the likes of Discipline and Glass Hammer. To my ears, Metaphorjust keeps getting better and better at what they do. The Pearl hit’s all the right Prog notes for me. There are many bands creating music that they’re trying to shoe-horn into the Prog genre but for my money this is the real deal. Highly recommended.