Exposé Online banner

Metaphor — The Pearl
(TropeAUDIO TA056, 2019, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-02-18

The Pearl Cover art

It’s been at least ten years since Metaphor’s last album, The Sparrow, so the band certainly can’t be accused of flooding the market with product. Even with the passage of all that time, the band membership is still the same five guys. In the interim guitarist Malcolm Smith released a solo album (which we reviewed here), and keyboardist Marc Spooner released electronic adaptations of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, while the other three members of Metaphor (singer John Mabry, drummer Greg Miller, and bassist Jim Anderson) are members of the Bay Area band Mind Furniture, who have a third album about to be released, so these guys have been busy. Metaphor is and always has been a classic prog band, with the challenging endeavor of covering the songs of Gabriel era Genesis in their early formative years, but since their first CD, Starfooted in 2006, their music has been 100% original, although the influences have remained to this day. On the earlier albums it was a little more evident, surely Gentle Giant and Yes, and of course Genesis, but their compositions don’t sound at all like their influences, only (occasionally) the playing and vocal delivery, and with this latest album one can even hear some Rush influence on the nine-minute opener “The Open Road.” Metaphor’s ace up their sleeve is singer John Mabry’s lyrics, which (although I can’t follow them all – printed lyrics would have been helpful) are interesting and seem to my ears to be somewhat spiritual in a Moody Blues sort of way; with “The Eagle, the Voice, the Light,” the band takes a gentler turn for its three minute duration and the lyrics are crystal clear underscoring that aspect. Another standout among the nine tracks is the seven minute “Remembering,” which combines some twisted threads and frequent wholesale changes in a truly classic progressive way, but it’s a well written song beginning to end and the vocals and harmonies are nothing short of superb. Like many classic prog albums, it’s a big magnificent closing track that makes the listener remember long after the music has stopped, and here we have exactly that with the closer “Robed in Glory,” an unfogettable majestic pocession of ideas executed to perfection, with more great lyrics that seem to have a lot to say at every turn. Beginning to end, The Pearl is an outstanding album, and probably most would agree Metaphor’s best to date.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Metaphor, Marc Spooner, Malcolm Smith

More info
http://metaphorprog.bandcamp.com/album/the-pearl

Latest news

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Patrick Gauthier - Sur les Flots Verticaux – It's been a while since we've heard from Patrick Gauthier (ex-Heldon, Weidorje, Magma) in a solo capacity, maybe ten years or more since he cut his now-legendary Bébé Godzilla. What we find here has...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues