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Wednesday, 28. February 2007 - 00:07

Review: Andromeda - Chimera

Dieser Beitrag ist auch in deutsch verfügbar (empfohlen).

It has been a long time, since the last post in this category. The third Andromeda album “Chimera”, which I bouhgt after the concert, wasn't completely innocent on this. It's a typical progressiv metal album, and that means, that you'll need some time to feel comfortable with it. At this time this statement is mor true than usual. At first I had some problems with the nine tracks. But in the meantime, I'm happy, that I took this album in my player over and over, because now I have to say, that this album is one of the best I've heard in the last months.

There are primarly two features, that I recognized about this disc:

  1. All song are on a constantly high niveau. On the “like scale” there are less “down points”, just some outlier to the top.

  2. The band was again able to generate a new style for that third album. The first two albums were already differing, but the third one has definitely it's own style. That demonstrates, that the boys have still a huge heap of ideas and they are open for new ones. That means for the listener, that he/she has to accustom to each new album, but progressiv metal fans should be familiar with that.

I'm happy too, that “Chimera” is, in a comparative manner, sharing more with it's predecessor album “II=I”, than with “Extension of the wish” (respectively “The final Extension” ). While in the first album guitar player Johan Reinholdz did almost each songwriting, one will recognize, that Andromeda is profiting from writing songs together and acting more like a whole band.

Especially the odds and ends and the details enjoy me best on that album: The many small, rythmic gimmicks and acutenesses that drummer Le John has included, but on the other hand the sound experiments of bass player Fabian Gustavsson (especially in the second track) have to be emphasized. Guitarist Reinholdz is delivering habitual hard metal guitar power and after the concert and after listening to that album I'm more and more enthused about singer David Fremberg. Merely a bit more presence of keyboard Martin Hedin would have been desirable in my opinion, because I like the keyboard driven tracks most.

The songs in detail:

  1. The disc ist starting with the track called “Periscope”. Its main melody appeared to simple to me at first, but now I think it's a cool and easy entrance. The song is very typical for the other ones on the disc, apart from that elementariness of that main riff: Untypical song structure, different variations and ideas and an unexpected ending label “Periscope”.

    Even when the lyrics are absolutely not my priority on progressive metal albums, I think this one is pretty cool, because I'm feeling anyhow remembered to Hagbard Celine and his submarine.

  2. In the end” is starting with a quite ryhtmic part and is bringing it up to a heavy break up to the refrain. That one is pretty easy and it's made to sing along, but the following part is again a heavy rythmic verse, that is rebuilding the balance. The whole band is achieving a very good performance in this part, especially singer David Fremberg is showing his talent and is bringing himself forth. The bridge after the second chorus is afresh a heavy rythmic complex part, that is in my opinion the best part in the whole song.

  3. The Hidden Riddle is taking some speed out of the album and is performed with a lot twitched guitar playing and a quite mainstreamy metal chorus. Especially this chorus is over and over strange to listen to, it's too pseudo metal in my opinion and it doesn't fit in the concept. Therefore Keyboarder Martin Hedin has some nice parts. Another praise I would give to drummer Thomas Lejon for the part at 2:33. This rythm is thrilling me every time I listen to it.

  4. Going under” is my favourite track on that album: Very progressive! It's even starting with the amazing intro, that is stopped right in the middle. Everything is going really fast and accompanied with a lot of solo keyboard. The two clear tempo breaks are needed and benefit to the song. And even If I'm usually not a fan of this 'play last chorus again and play it a (half-)tone higher at the second time'-thing, I don't know another in which this idea is better applying as in this one.

  5. A fairly mountainously song is “The Cage of me”, that is primarily thrilling because of it's hard refrain. Apart from that, everything stays the same. A typical Chimera song.

  6. The same can be saied about “No Guidelines”. It stays with the album style and isn't bringing new up- and/or downpoints.

  7. With “Inner Circle” the next highlight is waiting for the listener. I think that's because of the nice clear keyboard passages, that loosen up the quite guitar dominated album. Yes, I like that. The closing instrumental section is very freaky (for example at 4:25), too and that's very cool.

  8. Iskenderun” is, apart from the oriental sound of the whole song, but especially from the guitar, well “Chimera-fare” with a good bridge to the last track of the album.

  9. I didn't feel comfortable with “Blink of an Eye” for a long time and even now I think it's the song that I found most inplausible. I think there's a lack of a special highlight in it. There are not so much rythmic baubles, probably that's the problem, because all the other songs are full of them. But the piano part at the end of the track is absolutely brilliant, also when I think that is a song on it's own. It's one of the best sections on the album, perhaps the best piece anyway. Furthermore it's compensating the absence of a more quiet song (like “Two is One” was, for example). Martin Hedin is playing marvellous fast and very hovering melodies, some of them are known from the rest of the album. This parts are played in a very classical manner, and that's attrackting me as a confessing fan of Tchaikowskys first piano concert for example.

  10. Owners of the japanes version of the album got a bonus track, a live recording of “Chameleon Carneval”. This version is played very well and demonstrate to everyone who didn't had the chance to see Andromeda live, yet, that the musicians are very, very good and are kings on their intstrument. That fact is making the japanese album version to a implicit recommendation!

Like I said before, Andromeda made the best album to which I was listening to in 2006. In short words: It's very progressive, brilliant in ryhtmic and not the easiest album to listen to, what promises a long listening motivation.

Over all I rate the album with 4.5 of 5 points!

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