Chinchilla - Madtropolis

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Metal Blade
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 57:46:00

Thumping heavy power metal with the release of Chinchilla's fourth album following Horrorscope, Madness, The Last Millennium, and now this one, continuing the "mad" theme, Madtropolis.

The minute-or-so intro ("The Arise of Madtropolis" - yes, a concept album) leads you gently into what ultimately becomes a pounding body blow of crashing riffs, aggressive, gut-driven vocals, and a desire to head-bang their way through this 60 minute album. Without a doubt, Madtropolis is the most entertaining and solid release from Chinchilla, with a disc that combines their last two releases perfectly. Whilst Madness contained a whole bunch of short, up-tempo songs, The Last Millennium was epic and thus lengthier. Whilst both albums worked, both albums could have been better and that is where Madtropolis supercedes their previous efforts.

The opening songs should be recognisable to any Chinchilla fan, the familiarity working a treat with songs like "Our Destiny," "A Dance With The Devil," and my personal favourite "When The Sand Darkens The Sun." From this point, it's easy to conclude that originality is not their strong point but there's more here than meets the eye. That said, they play a brand of rough melodic metal (like Angel Dust) that is not over-populated in our metal world.

The first major change in pace is with the track "Entire World" which is a hard-riffing power ballad with a chorus to die for. But this is outclassed with the slower but more melodic "Satellite," a real throwback to the 80s. Cheesy? Perhaps; but a really good song for the lonely among you. The band quickly move back into familiar metal territory with the brilliant "Heavy Metal" track, a track that reminds me of the opening numbers from their Madness album.

The feather in Chinchilla's cap is that of vocalist Tommy Laasch who delivers an almost flawless performance that combines both Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian) and Dirk Thurisch (Angel Dust). The sing-along choruses are so catchy because of this man and are perfect for power metal fans. He's not without fault, but he's ideal for this music. The smattering of keyboards (Artur Diesner) are still present, in a similar way to Angel Dust once again but the intense, coarse riffing of Udo Gerstenmeyer (a name just made for metal!) gives Chinchilla an edge over the current crop of popular, clean, Euro-power metal bands.

The other element that attracts me to Chinchilla is their interesting lyrics. I know that power metal is not the doyen of musical poetry but I really enjoy their brand of pseudo political and social themes. In a world of overdone fantasy, it's bands like Lost Horizon and Chinchilla who dig that little bit deeper.

When all is sing (said) and sung (done), Chinchilla glorifies heavy metal in all its popular form and Madtropolis is a very enjoyable romp mixing 80s metal and modern standards. If you liked them before, you're going to like them again.

Similar To: Iron Maiden, Udo, Angel Dust

[This review originally appeared June 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
The Arise Of Madtropolis (1:25) / Our Destiny (3:51) / A Dance With The Devil (4:55) / When The Sand Darkens the Sun (5:03) / Entire World (4:48) / Satellite (5:21) / Heavy Metal (4:29) / Headless Fools (5:19) / Turn Around The Magic Table (6:33) / Money Rules Everything (5:23) / Battle Of The World (4:17) / Madtropolis (4:36) / The Fall Of Madtropolis (1:28)

Thomas Laasch - vocals
Udo Gerstenmeyer - guitar
Josh Häberle - bass
Chris Schwinn - drums
Arthur Diessner - keyboards

No Mercy (1990)
Who Is Who (ep) (1994)
Horrorscope (1998)
Madness (2000)
The Last Millenium (2002)
Madtropolis (2003)
Take No Prisoners (2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: December 8th 2004
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 861
Language: english


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