Not quite the change, rather conservative effort from Finnish ensemble finds them facing forward.
Having debuted with an eponymous album back in 2014, this band could create a lot of momentum of momentum on a “Montage” follow-up, yet they opted for refining of the form instead – or so it may seem because “Metamorphosis” has more than a few twists and turns, although not enough to justify the record’s title. There’s something conceptual about acoustic strum leading into the songs cycle before “Age Of Innocence” announces its contagious AOR agenda and signing the record off with “Carved In Stone” to reveal the group’s folk roots, but “Nature’s Child” is an example of pure hard rock performance, where guitars and organ jostle for focus and bring an emotional expression to the fore, as the instrumentalists follow their new singer Vesa Paavonen to a memorable, piano-propelled refrain.
With riffs much catchier than vocal tunes for the most part, the ensemble have yet to realize their potential, and it may actually lie on prog plateau, as Jukka Parkas’ keyboards prove to be the most alluring points of many a piece on display. That’s how it goes for “Black Magic” where bass and drums take over the groove and add urgency to the piece’s initial ivories-sculpted momentum to create a powerful aural spectacle – as impressive as an old tapestry – while “Haunted” marries funk attack to a majestic motif. All this heavy magnificence pales, though, when pop moves emerge to drive “Reptiles” into a soulful swirl showing the group could easily rise from morass which they drive this enterprise to. As it is, “Metamorphosis” is quite enjoyable.