Italian progressive rock stalwarts Metamorfosi are finally back with a new recording after more than thirty years of silence. Actually, the band reformed back in 1995 and rumors ran rampant over the Internet that the band had written a sequel to their classic Inferno concept album. The results are finally available and thankfully the wait was well worth it.
Vocalist Jimmy Spitaleri and keyboardist Enrico Olivieri return with a new rhythm section comprised of Fabio Moresco on drums and Leonardo Gallucci on bass and acoustic guitars. Paradiso is the second part of a planned trilogy based on the works of Italian poet Dante Alighieri. Like Inferno, Paradiso is meant to be heard as one continuous piece of music.
To reflect the more celestial qualities of Dante's poem, the music is considerably lighter in tone than that of Inferno. The raging Hammond organ of Inferno is replaced by piano and synthesizer strings. Jimmy Spitaleri frequently croons in the Italian romantic tradition as opposed to the eerie cries of despair of Inferno; thirty years on, Spitaleri is still a magnificent singer.
Paradiso does not boil over with intensity the way Inferno did. But there are some really lovely instrumental passages highly reminiscent of recent Le Orme or even Camel. "Ceilo di Mercurio" and "Empireo" are both fine pieces that showcase the keyboard abilities of Enrico Olivieri.
My only reservation is that at times, perhaps Paradiso is too mellow for its own good. Though "Salita a Venere", "Cielo di Venere" and "Il Sole" are gorgeous compositions, three uninterrupted pieces of quietude make me feel more than just a little relaxed! They also arrive too early in the album and may potentially put off some listeners from the many aural pleasures that follow.
Paradiso is a far, far better reunion album than most. Metamorfosi still have much to give to the progressive rock community and anyone who saw the band perform at Nearfest 2004 can attest to that. The CD booklet claims that "…this latest work of Metamorfosi will soon be completed with Purgatorio." I certainly hope we don't have to wait another thirty years!
- Sfera di Fuoco
- Cielo della Luna
- Salita a Mercurio
- Cielo di Mercurio (strumentale)
- Salita a Venere (strumentale)
- Cielo di Venere (Notturno su Venere)
- Il Sole (strumentale)
- Cielo di Marte
- Cielo di Giove
- Cielo di Saturno
- Stelle Fisse
- Empireo (strumentale)
- La Chiesa della Stelle
Total Time 50:51