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Chaos Code

Symphonic Prog

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Chaos Code The Tragedy Of Leaps And Bounds album cover
3.76 | 30 ratings | 5 reviews | 7% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Unity (3:38)
2. Another hand (10:36)
3. Spacesuits and sunglasses (8:52)
4. From cradle to grave (5:19)
5. Balance (4:30)
6. A reason to kill (8:26)
7. The creature self (5:33)
8. Distance (13:04)

Total Time: 59:53

Line-up / Musicians

- Cliff Phelps / electric & acoustic guitars, flute, vocals
- Tom Langan / keyboards
- Gary Curtis / bass
- Patrick Gaffney / drums

- Mike Potter / tenor sax & flute & harmony vocals (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Edmond Praybe

CD self-released (2002, US)

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CHAOS CODE The Tragedy Of Leaps And Bounds ratings distribution

(30 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(59%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CHAOS CODE The Tragedy Of Leaps And Bounds reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by hdfisch
4 stars On their second release the line-up changed almost completely, only guitarist and singer Cliff Phelps is leftover. Nevertheless their style and sound stayed quite the same. A nice blend between progressive folk tunes and a good portion of powerful rock garnished with a slight jazzy touch. Their music sounds very natural and handmade, not only due to the more amateur-ish production. Nevertheless it is very intricate and the songs are very touching with thorough lyrics. There is all the time a nice balance between nice acoustic, lyrical songs with flute, piano or acoustic guitar and ones with breakouts of powerful hard rock. The difference to the first album is that on this one there are much more instrumental parts. This album is really a pleasure to listen and maybe even better than the first one which was very good already.If you like some 70's type of music, but without any ripping-off of known bands and with its own character and uniqueness, then you have to buy this album immediately or even both together like I did. There are not many copies on the market, so hurry up and take your chance to get one!
Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars This is the second album by USA progrock band Chaos Code that features a guest musician on tenor saxophone and harmony vocals. Their sound is very melodic, pleasant, varied and often contains lots of dynamics. I also enjoyed the strong and tasteful work on (often harder-edged) guitar and keyboards. The short first track Unity has a bit ominous climate with Fripperian-like guitarplay. The following song Another Hand delivers lots of flowing shifting moods (from dreamy to heavy outbursts) with good work on saxophone, flute, acoustic guitar and propulsive electric guitar, very dynamic! Other interesting tracks are A Reason To Kill (alternating with exciting guitar and sensational synthesizers), The Creature Self (captivating atmospheres, strong breaks and again great work on guitar and keyboards) and the long and compelling final song Distance (sparkling Fender piano with acoustic guitar and a wonderful, symphonic prog 'grand finale' with lush keyboards and a sensitive electric guitar solo. Chaos Code made three albums between 1999 and 2005, I am looking forward to listen to the other two because I am delighted about this strong effort with lots of original ideas!

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Welcome to one of the most exciting band of the last decade. Chaos Code returns with the follow up to their sensational debut and it's about time this little-known band gets some attention. I urge the rockers in this place to check this band out. Leader and guitar god Cliff Phelps has new people in tow but the results are just as spectacular. Track after track of ominous, thinking man's hard prog-rock with the perfect balance of moods, moving from soft and moody flute/acoustic interludes and back to tense yet controlled scorch-rock. This is primarily guitar-oriented instrumental music which uses vocals and keyboards as tasteful but infrequent icing on the cake, which is how it should be.

There are some really long tracks that give Phelps a chance to develop musical themes and he does not dissapoint. Mini epics they are and remind me of what Rush used to be like when they created tracks like Xanadu or Natural Science. Don't get me wrong, Chaos Code is not a Rush clone, they are not a clone of anyone. This band has its own sound and while that may take a few spins to "get" you will be rewarded for your patience. The production is again nicely low key and organic rather than harsh or sterile.

On their first CD I complained a bit about the drums and here they are much improved. The keyboard player is accomplished although in a few spots I thought his sound was a bit cheezy, not his playing mind you, just the sound of the keys. Luckily this is only in spots so it is easily overlooked. The bass is solid and jamming. But againit is Phelps' guitar that is the central nervous system of Chaos Code: his playing is melodic, measured, and tasteful in places, then thunderous and wailing in others. If you are a fan of hard rock guitar you are simply going to have to hear Cliff Phelps. As I mentioned on the first review he understand that speed means nothing if the composition isn't something we care about in the first place. When I listen to Tragedy, I'm paying close attention because the material demands it.

Another fabulous release by this great new band.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars CHAOS CODE's sophomore release arrives with a lot of changes within the band. Only lead guitarist and vocalist Cliff Phelps remains. Keyboardist Marty Saletta left to join the great band THE DARK AETHER PROJECT, while the former drummer for CEREBUS EFFECT Tom Langan is on board. What hasn't changed though is the subject of how we need to save our planet. In the liner notes is a picture of a rope that is stretched out, and hanging by a thread. The album cover depicts a Native on a horse trying to cross a highway full of cars. On the back is a picture of a field with a lot of trees that appears to be a dumping ground for wrecked vehicles.The tragedy of leaps and bounds indeed. We have progressed too fast. As for the music, it is in a similar vein as their debut just not as consistant in my opinion.

"Unity" opens with a haunting guitar and piano melody that slowly builds. This is such a great instrumental. "Another World" continues to impress as it opens with a drum, guitar and sax melody that sounds fantastic. The music stops as mellotron rolls in followed by flute and vocals. Some heaviness comes and goes as flute and sax comes back. The song ends with this amazingly tasteful guitar solo that just goes on and on. Nice. "Spacesuits And Sunglasses" opens with guitar and mellotron as drums and flute joins this mellow soundscape.The sound of glass breaking signals a change in direction. Piano leads the way as vocals, drums and guitar join in.The song ends with piano and flute.

"From Cradle To Grave" features some aggressive guitar and theatrical vocals. "Balance" is an instrumental that doesn't do a lot for me. Some good guitar late though. "A Reason To Kill" does do a lot for me. This is more like it ! This is a darker song with some great guitar. Vocals after 2 minutes. Excellent tune."The Creature Self" has this heavy 90 second intro before the song becomes calm. Keys and light drums build to original heavy melody. "Distance" is a darker, heavier song with some minor riffing early, that turns into some scorching guitar melodies. Piano and flute follow. Heavy guitar 9 minutes in with keys. A beautiful soaring guitar solo ends the song.

Well there are four songs(1, 2, 6 and 8) that measure up to their debut album, while the other four are ok to good. All in all 4 solid stars.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Chaos Code is in my opinion one of the most underrated bands from this decade from USA. They released so far 3 albums, this one their second release is from 2002 and named The tragedy of leaps and bounds. The line up from this album is almost diffrent from previous work only two members are the same, the guitarist and the singer, but the music remains on the same characteristics as on first album. The music is a nice blend of eclectic moments (definetly not a symphonic prog band in my opinon, at least not in the traditional way we know this genre), some folk moments here and there and even some metal riffs thrown in, to make a special atmosphere. The album is well built with a lot to offer with cruchy metal riffs like on Another hand , I think the best piece from here, a killer track, very well performed and brilliant songwritting, the brass section is present on some pieces, the sax having an important role, but aswell the flute who remind me of Jethro Tull , mid '70's era is intristing combined with the rest. Very well are melted the folky parts with the more rougher moments, intristing and very inventive. What I like in plus is that the band and specialy this album has many instrumental parts, the voice is only here ant there, living space to express themself in the way they know and like. Anyway besides the music, the voice of Cliff Phelps is an aquaring taste, very intristing , quite original and very well melted with the rest. The two instrumentals The creature self and Balance has a nice mood , nice keyboards and even some caribbean feel to it on Balance, is nothing realy special, but was the change the mood of the album, nice track in the end. Sometimes when I'm listing to Chaos Code I have the impression hat this band is from mid to late '70's, the arrangements , the playing, the atmosphere is exactly like bands have in thet period, just listen to A reason to kill (outstanding keyboards arrangements here), maybe only the production and the more modern sound overall betrayed the album. In the end, a very good and intristing band and album, very underrated and with some truly amazing moments, they need a wider recognition because they worth every second. The front cover like the back cover are very intristing and shows ones again that the band were concentrated aswell on visual things like on musical ones. 4 stars easy, one of the most unnoticed albums from this decade, full of great idea and brilliant songwritting and musicianship. Recommended

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