Any Rock album running at just under the eighty minute mark has the dreaded Progressive label stamped all over it way before the CD gets a spin. I shall therefore not disappoint you dear reader and state that CHAINíS first long player is indeed a massive slice of technically demanding, hard hitting Progressive Metal that takes a bit of getting used to. And then some.
The first track ĎíCitiesíí weighs in at a hefty thirty eight minutes and quite honestly itís a breath taking in scope and delivery, a very fine piece of work if you can last the pace. Bands that concoct lengthy songs are rarely short of talent and CHAIN has it in spades. Soaring vocals, pulsating guitar riffs with masterful solos and a back line that just dominates, keyboard flourishes in all the right places and the odd time changes are all in there.
Particular mention must be given to vocalist Matt Cash who impresses hugely as does guitarist Henning Pauly. However the other band members each have more than enough room to spread their wings and take centre stage on a sprawling, epic and diverse batch of songs. OK this isnít the short sharp shock of VELVET REVOLVER or the brutality of SHADOWS FALL and just how you replicate any of this live is open to debate but if Progressive Metal is your bag and youíre a fan of DREAM THEATER and the UKís THRESHOLD then this is right up your street. (Online December 8, 2004)