After the release of Out Of Time (2010, see review) under the moniker of Metus, I hoped that the Polish composer and multi-instrumentalist Marek Juza would compose prospective music showing the bright side of life. So far all the albums I heard from Juza contained rather depressive music. In the review of Out Of Time I wrote that there's also a bright side of life; there's no reason why we shouldn't enjoy it on a Metus record. Being depressed isn't that difficult, but being happy is a way of live and music can be a great help to live this way. After all, every cloud has a silver lining...
Now, two years later Metus recorded a new album called Source Of Life together with Krysztof Lepiarczyk (keyboards, piano), Marcin Kruczek (Moonrise, guitars), Krysztof Wyrwa (bass guitar), Grzegorz Bauer (Moonrise, drums) and Piotr Bylica (cello). On receiving the promo I was curious to find out whether the music is still dark with a depressing atmosphere or that the dark clouds had disappeared. Well, you can still hear that you're dealing with the same musician; his vocals still sound like a mixture of Nick Cave and David Bowie, but compared to his older work his compositions have improved a lot.
The melancholic cello parts again fit perfectly to the newly written tracks. Occasionally some fantastic playing can be heard on the electric guitar as well. It sometimes reminded me of Steve Rothery (Marillion); listen for example to the opening piece Dust. However, most of the songs on Source Of Life still have a rather dark atmosphere, but every now and then the sun breaks through the clouds. The overall sound of the album isn't that dark and depressing as on his earlier releases. Although the influences of Paradise Lost, Tiamat and Moonspell are still present, they no longer dominate the music that much.
Source Of Life sounds as if Nick Cave and David Bowie recorded their first prog rock album with a guest appearance of Steve Rothery, together performing rather laid-back music about the dark side of life. That's in my opinion the best way to describe Metus' music. It's rather entertaining though, provided that you're in the right mood!
***+ Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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