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Chinchilla (USA) - 2003 - "Madtropolis"
(57 min, Metal Blade)


1.  The Arise of Madtropolis 1:25
2.  Our Destiny 3:51
3.  A Dance With the Devil 4:56
4.  When the Sand Darkens the Sun 5:03
5.  Entire World 4:48
6.  Satellite 5:21
7.  Heavy Metal 4:29
8.  Headless Fools 5:19
9.  Turn Around the Magic Table 6:33
10. Money Rules Everything 5:32
11. Battle of the World 4:17
12. Madtropolis 4:24
13. The Fall of Madtropolis 1:28

All songs: by Gerstenmeyr, except:
2 & 8 to 12: by Gerstenmeyr & Laasch.


Udo Gerstenmeyer - guitars; keyboards
Thomas Laasch - lead vocals
Jochen Haeberle - basses
Chris Schwinn - drums; backing vocals
Artur Diessner - keyboards; backing vocals
Roberto Palacio - cello (on 6)
Eddie "Fast" Clarke - guitar (on 4)
A bunch of back vocalists 

Produced by I. Schenzel & Gerstenmeyer.
Engineered by A. Kohler at "House of Music", Winterbach.


1996 - "Horrorscope" (Virgin Music Japan)
2001 - "Madness" (Metal Blade)
2002 - "The Last Millennium?" (=)
2003 - "Madtropolis" (=) 

Prolusion. The German band Chinchilla was formed in 1988, and "Madtropolis" is their fourth full-fledged album (see discography above). Back in 1990 and 1994, the band released a demo album and a 5-song mini-CD respectively.

Synopsis. Both of the 'boundary' tracks of the album: The Arise of Madtropolis and The Fall of Madtropolis are the only instrumental pieces here. Both of them are based on the parts of keyboards, including a string ensemble, and are done in the vein of music of Baroque. The predominant stylistics of "Madtropolis" is a traditional, yet, very tasteful Hard & Heavy with the pronounced elements of NBWHM and those of real Symphonic Prog-Metal and is presented on Our Destiny, A Dance With the Devil, Entire World, Money Rules Everything, Battle of the World, and Madtropolis (2, 3, 5, 10, 11, 12). Each of these songs features a few instrumental parts with definitely progressive arrangements, including those with fast and virtuosi solos of synthesizer (organ on 10) being at the forefront of them. The music on Satellite and Turn Around the Magic Table (6 & 9) represents an interesting combination of Hard Rock and Symphonic Art-Rock with beautiful interplay between solos of guitar and passages of piano and a string ensemble. The parts of the male choir featured on the latter of these songs arouse associations with the singing of medieval knights. All three of the remaining songs: Heavy Metal, Headless Fools, and When the Sand Darkens the Sun (4, 7, & 8) are about a traditional Hard & Heavy. In comparison with any of the other songs on the album, these sound too monotonous and are almost free of symphonic structures, as well as progressive features.

Conclusion. The duration of most of the albums that I really love range from 35 to 50 minutes. Modern technology allows for a longer album, which often runs counter to the overall quality of the production. If I were the producer of "Madtropolis", I would have not included the aforementioned three songs in the album. Well, having excluded these tracks when programming my CD player, I'll listen to the excellent version of "Madtropolis".

VM: June 16, 2003

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