Stellar French metal! The album exists in two forms — with lyrics sung in French and lyrics sung in English. The original French language edition came out on Devil’s Records. Banzai Records (Canada) and Steamhammer Records (Germany) released the album in both French and English. (The English version is titled Metamorphosis.) Please note that this review pertains to the French version. I have heard a few cuts from the English version, but truth be told, it is difficult to decipher the lyrics (even in English) due to the singer’s thick accent, and the record’s inferior mix (with vocals pushed too far back).
Sortilége’s Métamorphose takes direction from classic Judas Priest, and then adds an extra layer of complexity and weight, making this an enchanting metal record that any metal aficionado should love. Métamorphose is very close to the total metal package, with plenty of tempo changes, mood swings, and riffs for all seasons.
The guitar tandem of Stéphane Dumont and Didier Demajean rivaled the best in the biz at the time. These two were more than capable metal axe men. Whether weaving delicate acoustic tapestries or setting off explosive electric pyro, their guitar work on this album is top-shelf. Add to the equation the dynamic drumming of Bob Snake and the outstanding vocals of Christian Augustin (a Joe Elliot lookalike if there ever was one), and you’ve got yourself an album that absolutely mops the floor with Defenders Of The Faith. Seriously.
There are killer tracks all up and down Métamorphose. Sortilége really touched all the bases on this hot wax. One of my favorite cuts is the exceptional ballad Délire d’un Fou, which I believe loosely translates to “Hemorrhoids And Burlap”. (Editor’s note: No, it does not.) On the heavy end of the spectrum, there is the raging Civilisation Perdue, which, if my French serves me correctly, translates roughly to “Scrotal Zipper Nugget”. (Editor’s note: Again, no.) Heck, pretty much every song is a molten metal masterpiece!
The bottom line is that Métamorphose is a stunning work of mid-eighties traditional metal. So put down that Iron Maiden album that you’ve listened to a million times already, and try something new. Métamorphose is sitting there, in all its Gothic splendor, just waiting to blow your f*cking mind! (Pardon my French.) My score: A