Mike McLatchey 15-October-2002 Tempus Fugit

Tempus Fugit is one of the few titles from Crypto that has not seen a CD reissue by Musea Records, although one can assume that it is forthcoming. Crypto was a late 70s French label specializing in progressive music, probably best known for being the home of Carpe Diem, sundry Ange-related projects, and other Nice-area French groups. Metabolisme was a pretty dyed-in-the-wool symphonic rock group with a dominant keyboard presence, heavily influenced by early Genesis and Ange. It's quite reminiscent of Atoll in their homegrown take on English symphonic rock with a dominant organ presence that takes most of its cues from Tony Banks work on the pre-Lamb Genesis albums. However, for a record recorded in 1976, the amount of reverb on the organ and beat-ish vocal harmonies do a lot to date the effort earlier, at least in spirit. The most dramatic sections of the album remind me heavily of similar bits on Genesis' Trespass album, parts that bring back strong reminiscences of "The Knife." Even the light touches of flute and fuzz guitar/bass don't draw the attention away from the strong Hammond organ presence, and coupled with a rather thin production, the overall effort seems a bit samey. In comparison to other bands of the general area and sound, like Carpe Diem, Shylock, and Step Ahead, Metabolisme seem far more inclined to the retro and derivative. For some, this is likely to be a draw, but in comparison to its labelmates and contemporaries, this is a rather minor effort. Fans of the style might want to investigate, but only for those committed to depth mining.

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