|By Chris Derosa||Monday, 30 Apr 2007|
Chromelodeon was a band that I had immediately followed ever since I saw them perform an entire set of Ninja Gaiden 2 covers at the Virginia based Magfest 3 gaming convention. For 7 years, they were able to successfully achieve a marriage of synths, guitars, bass, accordion, and drums that would help define their sound and style as “epic old school gaming prog rock”. But as all good things must come to an end, Chromelodeon had announced at the beginning of the year that they would be calling it quits, with one final show at their Philadelphia home base in April. Not to go out with a whimper, they also decided to release a new album with 6 original songs that were never recorded before. Dubbed “The Final Recordings”, this album serves as an emotional look at a band that had stuck together for so long without ever losing a step along the way. And it shows everyone who never had the chance to see or hear them just what they had missed out on.
The album opens with a bang, short and simple, to kick off the opening track “Polygon Sun”. It follows through with mesmerizing keyboard work and soon after comes a strong beat that demands heads to at least bob along. The melodies play out great and manage to build up so well in such short time. Leading straight into the rhythmically hypnotizing “Higgeldy Piggeldy” and “Wackadelly”, you get the sense that these tracks blend so well into each other and progress almost in an evolutionary way while still maintaining the same style and theories. It’s almost like this entire album could almost be merged into one track with just different movements. And that’s a good thing.
“G.A.H.” is a great straight forward rock track. It works in its marching simplicity, which in turn is a nice change of pace from the preceding tracks. All in all it prepares you for what might be the band’s finest moments. “Aluminum” starts off beautifully, with the guitars setting the tone with a genius chordal progression. Then soon enough the song turns you upside down and shakes you when it sets everything to rocking out. It’s a very powerful song, even the second time around. As the synth arpeggios wind the song down, the finale starts up in the form of “Triangular”.
“Triangular” is a very important footnote for Chromelodeon and their fans. To some, it might just be the best song they’ve ever written. The upbeat nature of the tune is enough to put a smile on your face, and that’s before the catchy lead section comes in. Everything comes together so well, and the perfection just makes you wish that it would never end. It’s fitting that it would be the longest track on the album, and the end of a band’s illustrious journey. It truly is a song to experience to really understand its purpose.
As solid and amazing as the album is, the packaging is just as great. And the album’s design layout should be mentioned as it’s very well done by Denny, the band’s bassist. Unfortunately, these works of art were only printed in a set of 100, and they have since sold out. I’m sure that a new printing will be done soon, but I’m honestly not sure if they’ll come in the same packaging. That shouldn’t discourage you, though. The Final Recordings are, simply put, the most proper send off that a band of such a high caliber could ever see to releasing.