• 8.5/10
    ANDROMEDA - Chimera - 8.5/10


Release date: June 23, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Expectation were quite high when a new, the third, album of one of Scandinavian’s finest Prog Metal bands, Andromeda, was announced. Because their 2001 Extension Of The Wish was an unexpected pleasure coming a music lover’s way, and with the straighter, heavier II=I, they cemented their place in Prog history.

Their debut album was sung by a session musician (Lawrence Mackrory, known from the first Darkane album) and all songs were written by guitarist Johna Reinholdz, and the successor album marked a significant change when all except one track were written with other members of the band, and some tracks even completely without Reinholdz. Another important change was the employment of a regular singer, David Fremberg (the debut album was re-released with Fremberg on vocals as Final Extension), which leads to the same question again asked several times already: Where do all those great musicians from Scandinavia come from? Something must be very right with the way musical education in the Sweden, Norway, and Finland school systems is handled.

Fremberg is easily in the top group of his craft. Melodic, but with power … heavy, but never monotonous. He could even raise mediocre songs to praiseworthy tracks. Fortunately, the composing and playing abilities of his bandmates do not take a backseat to his vocal art. It seems they took the best of both their albums, and managed to compose the new songs straighter and to the point without becoming too predictable for Prog fans. At the same time, incorporating catchier choruses and melodies than on II=I. So, Chimera is in this mélange between their former outputs, and with that said, it should be clear already that Neo-Prog fans cannot go wrong with this album.

That is also probably the only thing one can find if he wants to find a point of criticism for Chimera, which is that Andromeda does not offer anything new musically to the genre. They blend original guitar riffing, which sounds, for this genre, uncharacteristically heavy sometimes, with virtuosic keyboards, and when Fremberg is not singing, instrumental battles of the finest kind erupt. In this, Andromeda manages to meet Prog heroes Dream Theater at eye level, even through the longest instrumental passages one does not long for Fremberg to return, but enjoys the suspense of the original and playful intermezzos. And when Fremberg reappears, he does so with some of the best vocal lines the band has ever come up with to date. Listen and enjoy the melodic double feature of track two and three, “In The End” and “The Hidden Riddle”. Also, the reminiscences to England’s Melodic rockers Enchant are more audible again as on the predecessor, most strikingly in “Going Under” and “Inner Circle.”

Two more comparisons come to mind if one wants to describe the music: First are the two early albums of USA-originated Jacob’s Dream, which is mainly due to the opener, “Periscope,” only that Andromeda does not have the strained high voice of former JD singer David Taylor. Secondly, several times during the album, Scandinavian Prog legend Ark comes to mind, most obviously in “Iskenderun.”

Enough comparisons, as Andromeda left with such a positive response in Chimera leaving most bands behind they could be compared to normally. This is without a doubt a feast for fans of the first two albums, and of the bands mentioned above. Why are you not yet clicking on the “Buy Your CDs Here” button?


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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