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Chalcedony - Chapter II CD (album) cover

CHAPTER II

Chalcedony

 

Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 19 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars That album cover has to be one of the most misleading things. The music is often buoyant, plaintive, odd, or even festive. For the progressive rock fan who enjoys showtunes and the melody and stylistic variety found in that category of music, there will be many moments of enjoyment found here. The vocal style is more histrionic than I care for, peppered with falsetto passages and eccentric articulations. In terms of instrumentation, there's no denying the talent.

"Truth Be Told" A symphonic heaviness with sprightly, Gentle Giant-like off-kilter vocal passages jumps right into the action. A third of the way through, there is an instrumental passage remarkably similar to the "Workings of Man" section from Yes' Awaken, complete with bright organ but adding heavy guitar.

"Regyne" The first part of this song sounds cut from a Christmastime collection, with delicate chimes, bells and fretless bass. It feels similar to some of the lighter Jon Anderson-penned songs. The final portion is devoted to soft melodic metal lead guitar work.

"India" Quirky percussive tones and an unadorned synthesizer lead create what initially could have been background music for an ad on paper towels or automobile insurance. It transforms into something darker while retaining its lightheartedness.

"Blood from Stone" In spite of the unrestrained, theatrical vocals, "Blood from Stone" establishes itself as a mostly straightforward hard rock tune. The flute makes a strange but brief appearance. Occasionally, I am reminded of Andy Tillison and The Tangent here.

"The Angel" I don't care for the high-pitched falsetto hanging out in the background or the rather trite lyrics in this unremarkable ballad-like song.

"Pandora's Box" A rich symphonic treat of an instrumental, "Pandora's Box" juxtaposes dazzling swirls of keyboards with a riptide of tight drumming.

"Wrong Again" Lovely piano and flute stand in contrast to heavy, dramatic passages.

"Pulse" Another idiosyncratic bit gives way to what is almost 1980s electronic-based pop music in vibe. It sounds like out-of-place filler considering the context of the rest of the album.

"Mechanical Wind" Blending heavy and symphonic progressive rock styles punctuated by soft, piano-led moments, this is a longer, generally upbeat song that reminds me of Simon Says' Tardigrade.

"Final Love" Beginning with highly pleasant vocal harmonies, the final, longest piece wastes little time surging forward into the heavy, semi-operatic style explored elsewhere on this album. However, it primarily consists of several piano-led parts that have a certain musical theater manner about them. The piano work is the most accomplished here than anywhere else on the album.

Epignosis | 3/5 |

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