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CHALCEDONY

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Chalcedony biography
Writing the bio of a young and talented multi-instrumentalist who started writing music in his childhood is a hard task, especially when his compositions are something so personal and important for his development as a human and artist, so I will mention some historical facts that are insufficient to describe the person being behind the music.

CHALCEDONY is obsessed with the piano since his childhood, early in his life he wrote The Fantasy Sonata, at the age of 11 or 12, he started to play drums and later formed a band called CONFUSION with his brother with whom he started playing at school.

In 2006 and after his band split, CHALCEDONY centered his efforts in writing Chapter One, which he finished in 2007, since then he has released 4 albums, two of them classical (Chalcedony - Elements and Butterflies, both from 2010) and the other two (Chapter One in 2007 and Chapter II in 2011) absolutely Progressive with a unique style that blends sounds, genres and moods with good taste and skills.

So I recommend people to focus in his albums rather than in this bio, because CHALCEDONY'S compositions describe better the person and the musician than cold words.

Iván Melgar-Morey ::::Perú

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CHALCEDONY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 3 ratings
Chapter One
2007
3.86 | 11 ratings
Chapter II
2011

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CHALCEDONY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Chapter II by CHALCEDONY album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.86 | 11 ratings

BUY
Chapter II
Chalcedony Symphonic Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars That album cover has to be one of the most misleading things. The music is often buoyant, plaintive, odd, or even festive. For the progressive rock fan who enjoys showtunes and the melody and stylistic variety found in that category of music, there will be many moments of enjoyment found here. The vocal style is more histrionic than I care for, peppered with falsetto passages and eccentric articulations. In terms of instrumentation, there's no denying the talent.

"Truth Be Told" A symphonic heaviness with sprightly, Gentle Giant-like off-kilter vocal passages jumps right into the action. A third of the way through, there is an instrumental passage remarkably similar to the "Workings of Man" section from Yes' Awaken, complete with bright organ but adding heavy guitar.

"Regyne" The first part of this song sounds cut from a Christmastime collection, with delicate chimes, bells and fretless bass. It feels similar to some of the lighter Jon Anderson-penned songs. The final portion is devoted to soft melodic metal lead guitar work.

"India" Quirky percussive tones and an unadorned synthesizer lead create what initially could have been background music for an ad on paper towels or automobile insurance. It transforms into something darker while retaining its lightheartedness.

"Blood from Stone" In spite of the unrestrained, theatrical vocals, "Blood from Stone" establishes itself as a mostly straightforward hard rock tune. The flute makes a strange but brief appearance. Occasionally, I am reminded of Andy Tillison and The Tangent here.

"The Angel" I don't care for the high-pitched falsetto hanging out in the background or the rather trite lyrics in this unremarkable ballad-like song.

"Pandora's Box" A rich symphonic treat of an instrumental, "Pandora's Box" juxtaposes dazzling swirls of keyboards with a riptide of tight drumming.

"Wrong Again" Lovely piano and flute stand in contrast to heavy, dramatic passages.

"Pulse" Another idiosyncratic bit gives way to what is almost 1980s electronic-based pop music in vibe. It sounds like out-of-place filler considering the context of the rest of the album.

"Mechanical Wind" Blending heavy and symphonic progressive rock styles punctuated by soft, piano-led moments, this is a longer, generally upbeat song that reminds me of Simon Says' Tardigrade.

"Final Love" Beginning with highly pleasant vocal harmonies, the final, longest piece wastes little time surging forward into the heavy, semi-operatic style explored elsewhere on this album. However, it primarily consists of several piano-led parts that have a certain musical theater manner about them. The piano work is the most accomplished here than anywhere else on the album.

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 Chapter II by CHALCEDONY album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.86 | 11 ratings

BUY
Chapter II
Chalcedony Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

5 stars Some weeks ago CHALCEDONY was suggested to our team as Symphonic artists, when I saw his photo looked like a blend between DAVID BOWIE, GARY NUMAN and MARYLIN MANSON, so I expected something between early Glam, Electronic and Hard Rock rather than Symphonic, but then I heard some samples and was blown out, but the impression was better after exchanging a couple e-mails, because he's a very nice young guy with great musical knowledge but most important, an artist who takes music seriously as a main element in his life.

To start let's say that following the tracks of musicians as MIKE OLDFIELD, CHALCEDONY plays all the instruments except the guitars which are in hand of the talented Chris Wilson, but this could be a problem, being that most multi-instrumentalists fall in the temptation of using the horrendous drum machines, but this guy is an awesome drummer, so the album has a great sound in all aspects . After listening the whole record my Peruvian history classes came to my memory, The Nazca culture (pre- Inca settlement) vessels are characterized for what the archeologists call in Spanish 'Horror al vac'o' (Horror of vacuum), because they cover each and every millimeter of their ceramics with drawings, well the same happens with Chapter II, CHACEDONY adds a note or at least a sound in every nanosecond of the album, so when I later found that the album concept was based in agoraphobia, it was obvious that the young musician was successful in transmitting the message even without words, something very few artists can achieve.

Chapter II is opened with the impressive Truth be Told, a powerful song that has everything a Prog listener asks for, lush keyboards, great drumming, radical changes and excellent vocals. It's hard to describe and compare with any other band because it's ever changing, but to be honest, reminds me a bit of the dark mysterious sound of GENESIS with the complexity of KING CRIMSON plus a good dose of drama, brilliant opener.

Regyne starts as a soft sentimental ballad, but around the mark of the 4:30 minutes, things start to change, the intensity of the music goes 'in crescendo' leaded by the dark and enigmatic vocals with a versatility that minds me of the way PETER GABRIEL (Only stylistically not range) plays with different voices as a dialogue of one man. Less frenetic than the previous but again as intriguing and elaborate, another high point, pay special attention to Chris dramatic guitar solo.

India is a very unusual track, the percussive intro continues all along the track, but as it advances more instruments join, structurally is very reminiscent to the closing section of Tubular Bells by MIKE OLDFIELD, only that in this case it's more explosive due to it's shorter length.

Blood from Stones starts as a straightforward Rock song, but as it advances keeps getting more and more elaborate, somehow reminds me of QUEEN, even in the vocals which for the first time have a Freddie Mercury similarity. Not the most Progressive track, but as good as the previous ones, especially for the weird flute and aggressive guitars. Special mention to the amazing percussion and choirs.

Now is the turn for my favorite song of Chapter II called The Angel, which starts a soft but incredibly dramatic intro with subtle and haunting choir, but then you can expect anything, this is the kind of dramatic music that produces me some sort of claustrophobia (Hey, that's good, the same happens with Into the Cage by GENESIS) because it's so elaborate that seems there's no escape back to reality, a wonderful song that has everything a Prog fan loves.

Pandora's Box also mazes me because the organ has a captivating Baroque feeling, but when the powerful drums are added is simply breathtaking, again no place to run, because the music falls over the audience as a thick mist that doesn't allow the listener to focus in anything else apart from the music.

Wrong Again is simply delightful, being that CHALCEDONY shows his skills as pianist and as a singer, the music is soft but dramatic and so the lyrics, of course this doesn't mean that the track lacks of power explosions, because we can find lots of this with again excellent guitar work. Just as a note, still can't define if he uses Mellotron or only real choirs, but what the heck, the effect is wonderful.

After the bizarre intro Pulse morphs into a full Prog track with Mellotron and tremendous drumming that works as a short interlude before Mechanical Wind, short epic barely above the 10 minutes where the tormented vocals create a dramatic atmosphere which explodes into a heavy section with a multi-instrumentalist showing us that is possible to play many instruments with similar skills. For the first time in Chapter II the keys remind me of TONY BANKS, even if the style is completely different.

The album is closed Final Love an 18 minutes ambitious song that words can't describe, being that the delicious dissonances, different styles, genres and atmospheres dance before us one after the other and always unexpectedly, so it's better to listen the song personally than running the effect with plain words.

After several long listening sessions (The album is almost 77 minutes long), I still continue finding surprises in Chapter II and I'm sure it will be the same for some time, being that there's a lot to be discovered. So now comes the part I hate'..The rating (A cold number doesn't express our impressions and feelings on music).

The album doesn't have a weak moment, the musicians are incredibly skilled, the music is original and imaginative, so the minimum that it can receive is 4 solid stars, but I will take the risk and go with the maximum rating, because I haven't heard something as challenging in many years.

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Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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