Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Tom's Metaphysical Animation from 1973, finally available!

Well, as the saying goes, we interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for a huge surprise... someone out there, god bless the kind soul, ripped and shared this record freely with everyone, on youtube.  From my close sources, I believe they found a copy in a bin somewhere, contacted Tom, and just ran with it from then on...   For your benefit I will post a completed mp3 in the comments.  First of all let's review Tom's remarks from, almost two years ago now:

Part 1: The band Metaphysical Animation was first formed in 1968 in Gainesville, Florida, and later ended up in the Miami area. Their sound and lineup evolved gradually over this time, eventually coalescing around the core of guitarist Alberto de Almar and keyboardist Bill Sabella. They gigged around the small clubs of the area regularly, and by 1972 were ready to record an album. By then the lineup consisted of de Almar and Sabella, along with drummer Robbie Hanson and bassist Steve Margolis (another bassist, Larry Jessup, also played with them around this time). The album was recorded that same year at a professional studio in the area, over the course of one or two sessions. They had a test pressing made of it, but were never able to secure a record deal and soon disbanded. The musicians went their own separate ways, with Alberto de Almar ending up in another local band named Faustus, who opened up for some of the larger rock acts that toured the area. By 1976 they too had called it quits, and I believe de Almar then left Florida to pursue more advanced musical education elsewhere...

Less than 50 copies were pressed, housed in a plain white demo sleeve with the band name hand-written in pen on the cover. Now here's where we get to the most amazing part: It's a double LP set, clocking in at nearly 65 minutes in total! I'm not sure if I know of any other instance where an unreleased test press of an underground band like this was done as a double LP. Anyway it seems that they had a sort of uncompromising attitude and never really did try to market it too hard. After failing to be signed, they sold most of the few remaining copies at local gigs, which might account for why no other examples seem to have survived. A few comments on this album's actual discovery: The seller who ended up with this apparently dug it up in a warehouse find that may have been associated with the particular (long defunct) pressing plant where these LPs were actually made, which would explain how it managed to survive these 40 years at all. This lone copy was buried amongst a bunch of other test presses, all the rest of which were just various 45s of local radio jingles and other such ephemera...   
[please read the remainder]
On gnosis, of course, Tom notably gave it a 14/15 score.  Hard to believe.

Now quickly for my own review.  The album starts in a promising manner with some instrumental fusion/hard prog on Two Songs in Space and some unique chord changes, with the melody even featuring recurrent diminished chord breakdowns, but thereafter the track slacks off a bit with an E to D passage featuring electric guitar soloing that goes on a little too long.  Then to my utter shock, I heard him quote Norwegian Wood in the middle of said solo (about the three-minute mark).  So to me this was a bit of a negative omen:

But notice the interesting guitar effects, a la Jimi Hendrix in his late, post-Electric Ladyland manner (which appear throughout the album in fact).

The next track is a straight-out commercial ballad with Beatlesian chord changes, again a disappointment.  A few following tracks are interesting for myriad reasons, again, but interspersed in the progressive moments there are deeply disappointing ones too, as the blues song attests.  I can't possibly consider this a great record at all after listening to it some 3-4 times since last night, it's not as good as the wonderful Genre - Commercial Success, nor can it compare to recent Tom discoveries Ginga Rale Band and Rob Thomsett, it doesn't have the bite and originality of a true progressive masterpiece, like Swiss Island, or any ELP record, for that matter.  In general I feel the length is actually a bit of a drawback as it results in some self-indulgent noodling on the part of guitarist and organist, like the low protein to carbs ratio one finds in many cheap Chinese restaurants... Generally speaking it reminds me A LOT of the Flight album I posted a year ago with the quality being overtly comparable.

But I'm now going to shut up-- because you can, yourselves, be the judges.


  1. many many thanks to the kind soul who did this service for us, for humanity...

  2. Many thanks buddy, to you and the gentle person behind this great post!

  3. Very curious this album was posted here the day after the whole album was posted on youtube... many nice people out there... doing the same... at the same time, really nice, eh? lol

  4. right-- well of course youtube and this rip are from the same person obviously, who sent their rip to my friend who sent it to me... and that's the person whose generosity is quite shocking, but I thought by posting it here it would be propagated very quickly worldwide, given the no. of downloads... and as I said before my goal is to popularize this form of music-- though that goal is not working very well, lol
    eh? lol

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.