The Sparrow the third release from Metaphor, is based on the book of the same name by author Mary Doria Russel. It’s a story of a Jesuit funded mission to an alien inhabited planet, which has some unexpected results.. The music on this album have a darker tone lyrically while the arrangements veer slightly away from their previous two Genesis flavored albums.
In fact this album is more on par with modern progressive rock bands as opposed to be treading ground of the old guard. Some bands I think of when I hear ‘The Sparrow’ are Gentle Giant and Yes which will give a wider appeal. Also newer bands like The Underground Railroad, Discipline, Little Atlas and so many more.
One of the strong points of Metaphor has always been the way John Mabry’s vocals work so well within the music. He’s so emotive and brings you to the music in a storyteller way. Songs like "Stella Maris", "Death in Eden" and "Stranded" show his emotive vocals the best. For a concept album, it flows smoothly and you get a sense of the various emotions felt.
While ‘The Sparrow’ is one of the more intelligent concept albums in recent times. It sticks to the story and doesn’t add the typical cheese-factor most bands like to use. This is a serious sci-fi concept album that doesn’t seem to have a happy ending. Once again Metaphor scores another amazing album and each one gets better. High recommendation for you symphonic prog lovers and one of my favorite releases of 2007! Get this NOW!
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on December 21st, 2007