METALMORPHOSIS – MetalMorphosis Volume I (2017)
Do you remember ’80s US hard rockers Black ‘N Blue? Well, the band is still active, but guitarist Brandon Cook has a new side project called METALMORPHOSIS which released its debut album “Metalmorphosis Volume I” few days ago.
The Portland, Oregon, based group consists of Larry Smith on lead and background vocals; Cook on guitar, bass, keyboards & background vocals; and Andrew Korn on drums, plus various guests.
Over the years these musicians fought many rock battles and toured with some of the biggest names in Rock and Roll, where clapped hands of many fair lads and lasses echoed loudly in the pungent halls of New York, Tokyo, San Francisco, Portland and L.A.
The aim of METALMORPHOSIS is to rock hard, they took their influences and used them front and center without compromise.
The songs in “Metalmorphosis Volume I” are re-workings of songs from other artists – not from the Rock genre – done with a no holds barred full punch rock n’ roll style.
Opener ‘Luck Be a Lady Tonight’ was made popular decades ago by Frank Sinatra (!) but in the hands of METALMORPHOSIS it was transformed into a heavy rocker with big guitars, powerful vocals, and a punchy rhythm section.
Brandon Cook’s riffs all over the record are driving groovy, while Larry Smith vocals are like a cross between Brian Vollmer (Helix) and Robin McAuley (McAuley Schenker Group, Grand Prix, et all).
Frank Sinatra also did a famous version of ‘Night and Day’ (composed 1957), and METALMORPHOSIS ‘morphed’ it – almost unrecognizable – into a dark heavy rocker with George Lynch feel.
Popularized by Billie Holiday, ‘Good Morning Heartache’ is completely re-arranged in a dense, Black Sabbath-like dark heavy song.
Again from Sinatra, there’s ‘Strangers in the Night’… you’ll be surprised by the DIO sound obtained in this one. Killer if you ask me.
‘My Favorite Thing’ was sung by Julie Andrews (!) in the ’60s in the musical movie of the same name. Adding acoustics (and electrics) in the vein of Led Zeppelin circa “IV”, you can’t believe how good this METALMORPHOSIS version resulted. Awesome atmospherics and a true Zepp sound, where Smith vocals soar.
Did you ever thought that Annie Lennox’s ‘I Put a Spell on You’ could be re-done in a 80s US metal style? Wait to listen to this version including a little drum solo too!
Taken from Oliver! The Musical, ‘Food Glorious Food’ is done with a Queen circa 1977 style, Ray Charles’s ‘Hit the Road’ with a Lez Zeppelin-full electric punch, Cole Porter’s ‘Anything Goes’ sounds like Depeche Mode going heavy (seriously), then Nat King Cole’s ‘The Party’s Over Lyrics’ is done in the vein of a Black ‘N Blue / Helix hair metal track.
Versions of no-Rock related songs have been done extensively over the past two decades, but METALMORPHOSIS are different. While the tunes chosen are really unexpected, the real fun thing here is the way these were transformed.
These guys pay tribute to the greats such as Led Zepp, Sabbath, Scorpions, etc in terms of sound – even the hair metal era – but using songs that were composed with an absolutely different approach in mind. And works greatly.
If no-one told you where these songs come from, you would think these are originals.
Much, much more than just a ‘versions’ album, “Metalmorphosis Volume I” will surprise you.
01 – Luck Be a Lady Tonight
02 – Night and Day
03 – Strangers in the Night
04 – Good Morning Heartache
05 – My Favorite Things
06 – I Put a Spell on You
07 – Food Glorious Food
08 – Hit the Road Jack
09 – Anything Goes
10 – The Party’s Over
Larry Smith – Lead and Bkg Vocals
Zen Brandon Cook – Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Bkg Vocals
Andrew Korn – Drums, Keyboards, Bkg Vocals
Danny Obadia – Piano and B3 Organ
Laura Cunard – Bkg Vocals
Josh Lava – Strings and Eno-isms
Sam Bevan – Bass on ‘Anything Goes’
BUY IT !