Chinchilla - Take No Prisoners
Chinchilla's new effort recently hit my mailbox and it was a welcome delivery. The band has always delivered solid heavy metal albums containing strong melodies, good riffs and not least great refrains. It is pretty obvious by now that Chinchilla will not change style or sound. I am not saying that in a negative way, quite the contrary. They are great at what they do, and at this point in their career it's just a matter of forging as great songs as possible within the already worked in concept. And with Take No Prisoners they once again succeed in that. It is once again a good display of, in the band's own words, "dominating guitars, a powerful rhythm section, reserved background keyboards and the powerful vocals of Thomas Laasch."
The Almighty Powers opens and sets the tone for the album: uptempo with good riffing and a catchy chorus. Death Is The Grand Leveller holds the same quality but has a slightly lower pace. The Call and The Ripper continue on that track, and....well, you get my point. The album sontinues this way with a handful of uptempo tracks and a few more midtempo. The latter ones has been concentrated a bit more to the end of the album which makes it lose tempo a tiny bit at the point but Ritch Hounds saves it by taking it up a notch at the very end.
20 seconds into the album, my girlfriend said: "Pffff...he's trying to sound exactly like Bruce Dickinson". I do not know about "trying to sound like" but Thomas Laasch's voice has a striking resemblance to mentioned Mr. Dickinson in his younger, more vital years. Since I am of the opinion that Dickinson has seen his best singing days by now, I have to say that I hold Laasch for the better one of the two. He is a very vital and important part of this band and contribute a lot to the good sound pcicture.
The only thing that really talk against this band is the fact that the songs are very alike. Same build, same sound, almost the same tempo. It is all saved by the fact that the songs are all very good. Every song on this album is a solid 8 - no more, no less, with one exception that spells Lost Control, which lands somewhere around 6-7. And of course there's the ballad Silent Moments, that's.....well, a ballad is a ballad, although slightly better than average this time.
Not quite as great as Madtropolis but still a very good heavy metal album and essential in every fan's cd rack. I really hope to be able to see this band live some day because I feel their music would come out very heavy, intense and good live.