Chrysalis - Breaking Illusions

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 38:28:00

Chrysalis are a melodic progressive metal quintet, and Breaking Illusions is their debut EP - an EP by dint of containing only 5 tracks, but those 5 tracks last 6 minutes or more, so you get about 40 minutes of music.

Chrysalis got their start in 1999 as Heresy, recording an ill-fated demo called Searching For Signs, and later recorded an unused track for a never-released Dream Theater fan club CD. At this time the line up was different, but all the pieces were in place by 2002 when the band changed their name to Chrysalis, recording this EP in 2003 at Roko Soundstudio in Germany.

The mixing on this album isn't perfect as there is a "gap" between where the vocals are and the rest of in the instrumentation and the drums are a little too prominent in the mix, a mix that at times seems very dry. But, there is a lot of potential here, and their overall sound will surely interest both prog rock fans (those who lean towards Pallas, Arena, etc.) and progressive metal fans as a band to watch. The music and compositions themselves are pleasant and likeable enough, taking their cues from Dream Theater (a certainly slinkiness to the sound), Vanden Plas, Evergrey, and, to a lesser extent, Symphony X among others. It is this latter element that struck me the most; vocalist Pat Marinacci sounds a lot like Tom Englund, though his delivery is a little "brighter" and not as restrained. More as when Tom really gets going.

Chrysalis' sound includes lots of keyboards (Philippe Tezza), guitars (Ghislain Wielfaert) and, as I said, drums (Maxim Lehmann). Not a lot of frenetic double bass drumming, which is a credit to Lehmann, who really makes full use of his kit. Tezza's keyboard textures (as on "Torn Part II: Sweet Confusion") even approaches piano like-tones, as we expect from the more progressive forms of metal. We get more in "Hidden," too, that are quite jazzy in tone? and they become very proggy (almost in a "neo" way) on "Behind The Mask." In concert with Wielfaert, bassist Erwan Rande plays often chugging lines. Metallica and a middle-eastern feel are evoked with intro arpeggio from Wielfaert on "Behind The Mask," before it begins chugging. The verse sections, which are the best balanced portion of the album, are very reminiscent of Evergrey. Wielfaert plays some delicate, lyrical, crystalline lines during the verses of "Hidden," a sound that recalls Petrucci a bit. And really lets loose on "Behind The Mask," a section that lets him showcase his talents? the tone is a little too "blurpy" for my tastes, but his style is on the money.

The album would have a better feel if the mix were a little more balanced, but the clarity of each instrument in its space, and of the vocalist, is very good. Of the five tracks, I think it is "Breaking Illusions" and the pair of "Torn Part I: Half A Man" and "Torn Part II: Sweet Confusion" that I like most, but that isn't to say I don't like the others (there are elements of all that are quite attractive). And by "I think," I mean, there are just so many neat sounding elements in each track, that my opinion is swayed from one track to another. "Hidden" at first appears to be the ballad, but once the choruses begin and we get some chugging guitar, well, even power ballad seems misleading, but it is not a full-tilt rocker? somewhere in between.

In the end, you can hear strongly the influences in Chrysalis' sound, but with the sense that this band will break free of that cocoon and take flight. And there's hope that unlike many butterflies, their lifespan will not be short.

One can't help notice that the band's logo bears a striking resemblance to the logo used by the Chrysalis label about 20 years ago?

Breaking Illusions (7:37) / Behind The Mask (9:45) / Torn Part 1: Half A Man (5:48) / Torn Part II: Sweet Confusion (6:03) / Hidden (9:55) (plus multimedia content: wallpapers, in-studio video footage, lyrics, and more)

Pat Marinacci ? vocals
Ghislain Wielfaert ? guitars
Phillipe Tezza ? keyboards
Erwan Rande ? bass
Maxim Lehmann ? drums and percussion

Breaking Illusions (2003)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: August 8th 2004
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1187
Language: english


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