Metal Blade

German metalers Chinchilla return with Madtropolis, a theme based album revolving around the concept of machines taking over the world. It would be my guess that the members of Chinchilla attended the German equivalent of America’s Musicians Institute, and its smaller offshoots (Guitar Institute, Percussion Institute, Vocalists Institute), mainly because there’s more showy playing here that one could (or would want to) shake a stick at.

Yes, folks, Madtropolis is laden with lightning fast guitar solos, over-processed rhythm guitars, ridiculously intricate and mathematical drum patterns, and a lead vocalist who sounds angry, but probably isn’t in reality. The lead vocalist sounds very much like Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden fame, leading me to believe that Bruce Dickinson was his major at the Vocalists Institute. The band itself, however, probably followed the Dream Theatre course of study, with a minor in Redemption, as their sound is very prog, yet it does have a bit of a harder edge.

For the most part, though, this album has been made before, by many a prog rock band. There’s only so many times a band can put out a record of fast solos and overdone theatrics, and Chinchilla seem to be putting out the same record over and over (this album sounds like their last two, The Last Millennium and Madness, sped up with a small bit of maturity being added to the song writing). It’s kind of cool, but if you own one of their records already, you probably can skip Madtropolis, knowing exactly what it will sound like.

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