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coverpic flag US - California - Full Moon 92 - 04/05/04

Entertaining Thanatos
Troup Audio

Some witty not-quite-young-anymore gentlemen at the Norwegian national radio once separated popular music into two categories: songs less than three minutes were pop; the rest was progressive rock. Metaphor easily fits into the second category. The shortest songs are only three and a half and four minutes long, the rest more than seven and the epic of the album lasts almost 18 minutes. Adding that Metaphor started as a Genesis tribute band 10 years ago, there should be no doubt about the prog tag. Entertaining Thanatos is the band's second album of self-penned songs.

Now this ought to be something for me. Genesis once was my favourite band, a long time ago. Metaphor used to concentrate on the early classic heydays of Genesis, when Peter Gabriel fronted the band. There are still some elements from that period in Metaphor's own music of today. A swirling mellotron or long sore electric guitar notes here, lyric acoustic guitar playing and bass pedals there. The vocals give reverberations of a younger Gabriel or Fish now and again. I also find elements of other clever 70s dinosaurs in between, some jazz licks from the ambitious Gentle Giant; even a few notes of Keith Emerson's pompous organ and a Van der Graaf Generator bass line. A little bit of newer bands like IQ and even 5UU's might be discerned, too, but Metaphor is mainly inspired by the mentioned bands, not copying them.

Entertaining Thanatos might have been a pleasant flashback. The lyrics are the real problem. They're so goddamn pretentious, taken from Greek, Finnish and Indian mythology, a philosophical bit about Socrates' last stand, some lines in Latin... In the epic track "Yes & No" Krishna exclaims: "So yeah, go out and kill, but do it with a twinkle in your eye!" I think it would've been a good idea to write lyrics with a little twinkle, too. If I'm not very much mistaken, thanatos means death in Greek. I guess Metaphor might fare well in university circuits. Some of the music is great, especially the aforementioned "Yes & No" (one part is taken from the English classical composer Gustav Holst) and "Wheel Of The World". To me the entertainment falls flat because of singer John Mabry's poetical, philosophical and intellectual aspirations.

Copyright © 2004 JP e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Metaphor article/review: Starfooted.

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