Digital Metal: In The Year 20XX…
Originally published on www.digitalmetal.com. Written by Chris Ayers.
Philadelphia’s Chromelodeon are a mostly instrumental progressive-rock octet (!) that almost defies belief. Part C Average, part Queen’s Flash Gordon, and part King Crimson’s In The Wake Of Poseidon, In The Year 20XX straddles the fence between prattling cartoons and prodigious artistry and ends up creating a sprawling epic for the Micronaut universe – yep, Time Traveler, Acroyear, Baron Karza, and the whole crew of that obscure ’70s toy line. “Wily’s Castle” is a prologue of sorts to a mounting battle of good and evil, with sweeping synthesizer passages and snare marches. The six-minute “Mysteriousness: Outer Space” continues the rising action à la Crimson’s Starless And Bible Black, then slips around Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon. “Voder” is a terse, synth-driven piece that approaches but does not encroach upon IV-era F**king Champs. Like Rush’s “Hemispheres”, the twelve-minute closer “Eloquence Is Dead” is divided into movements: the first part is pure metallic rock peppered with death-metal vocals and melodic vocoder-delivered lyrics, the latter of which is surely inspired by Time-era Electric Light Orchestra; the second reprises the battle march as a prelude to war; the third is a quiet, Yes-styled interlude, followed by a Mr. Bungle-like accordion episode; and the finale includes said march and a big violin finish. Prog rock for the Nintendo generation, Chromelodeon are a true find and are everything you need for galactic battle adventures with old Star Wars figures.
Impact: In The Year 20XX…
Originally published on www.impactpress.com in December 2003/January 2004. Written by Alex Llama.
Chromelodeon is an 8-piece Philadelphia group that plays mostly-instrumental rock. Their fondness for science fiction comes through in their work, from the cartoonish cover art to the spacey keyboards and sound effects. They take the grandiose and epic feel of power metal and channel it into outer space. (AL)
1340mag.com: In The Year 20XX…
Originally published on www.1340mag.com. Written by John Venvertloh.
One of the things I like to do when I review an artist’s music is get to know them as much as possible. Different bands have different information available in their press kits and on their web sites. It’s both interesting to see the artists and find out what they are thinking. Chromelodeon made that nearly impossible because of the limited info they made available. So I can tell you they’re an 8 piece epic rock group from the Philly (PA) area. (If this sounds like a complaint, I’m sorry. It’s not meant to be.) Based on what is on the web site, if Weird Al played epic rock, his band might look like these guys. They even have an accordion player!!
With so little to go on, the music will have to, er, “speak” for itself. Which is interesting because the CD has four instrumental songs on it. Still not much to go on… The sound is definitely epic rock: lots of big soundscapes, tempo and key changes, different instrumentation, and so on. It’s really very good and I like it a lot. I hear some similarities to Todd Rundgren’s Utopia in a couple of the songs although I wouldn’t say they particularly sound like Utopia. The fact that it’s all instrumental forced me to interpret the music myself. In one sense it’s like a lot of electronica, where the listener has to infer from the title and the sound what the artist might be trying to say. In another sense, and this is really what I came away from the CD feeling more deeply, it’s a lot like listening to a movie soundtrack album when you haven’t seen the movie. I can tell when things are changing but I can’t tell what’s happening. It’s not an altogether bad feeling. I guess I’m just not used to getting it from an epic rock CD!
Did I mention I like the music? I did? Okay, good! I think the CD will appeal to a fairly large audience, not just epic rock fans. Fans of most styles of rock should be able to get into it. Theatrical metal fans could find this CD enjoyable as a change of pace from their normal listening. The band offers a sample on the web site. Check it out.
Key track: mysteriousness: outer space
- We are sorry to announce that the show tomorrow, January 9th, in Franklin, NJ has been postponed. When and if a new date is announced, we’ll be sure to post it.
- A new date has been announced and, sure enough, we posted it.
Splendid Magazine: In The Year 20XX…
Originally published on www.splendidezine.com on January 9, 2004. Written by Mike Baker.
We all remember the final battle of Transformers: The Movie, don’t we? Orson Welles’s star-turn as the all-powerful Unicron, a force so terrible the Autobots and Decepticons most join in battle to save the world? Ringing any bells? The guys in Chromelodeon don’t need to be reminded — they seem hell-bent on scoring and re-scoring the final battle sequence with their brand of instrumental space rock. The not-so-futuristically named “Wily’s Castle” could be offered as evidence to support such a claim.
But wait. Maybe it’s not a Transformers fixation — could it be that these guys have their Rush albums in the disc-changer on permanent repeat? “Mysteriousness: Outer Space” seems to fit the bill, though it eventually turns into balls-out rocker that would make Voivod proud.
Nope. It’s a Transformers thing — the synth-charged “Voder” is all the proof I need. And the meandering “Eloquence Is Dead” is just icing on the cake. (Watch for the Pink Floyd-inspired choir of voices — it’s way cooler than it should be.) Thanks, Chromelodeon — you’ve just given me and all my film geek friends a new alternate soundtrack to our Transformers collections. “Destruction to Autobots!”
— Mike Baker
The links section has been updated and now includes Press/Reviews.
The show in Upper Darby scheduled for January 28th has been cancelled.
Coming Soon: Chromelodeon Magnets! Show that special refrigerator that you really care. Also, more shows have been added, including one unexpected show for the 23rd (tomorrow).
The show this Saturday, February 7th, has been cancelled.
Hi There. This is going to be a bit of a lengthy news update, so sit tight!
First, we are very sorry about all the show cancellations that have been happening lately. For the most part, they have been beyond our control, but we are looking forward to our show on the 20th. We are hoping for a good turn out. Be sure to check the Shows section for more information on that show.
Next, Magnet/Pin Combos will now be available at shows and to order from this site. Check out the Merch section if you are interested. We are running a bit low on stickers, but we will have more coming in a few weeks, so bare with us.
If you live in the Philadelphia area, be sure to keep a look out for a FREE copy of the March 2004 issue of Origivation Magazine. There will be an article featuring us in that issue, so be sure to check that out. Origivation Magazine can usually be found in record stores, but it can sometimes also be found in musical instrument stores and book stores.
Finally, we will have new pictures up in the Pics section soon. If you have any pictures of us and would not mind sharing them, please send us an email at Chromelodeon@hotmail.com. We would like to have copies of them and post them for all to see. We are in great need of performance photos. So if you can, please help us out, we would be very grateful.
That’s all for now.Be sure to check back soon for any changes or updates!
“In the Year 20XX” can now be found in more stores in the New Jersey and Philadelphia Areas. Check the Merch Section to see where they can be found. Be sure to pick it up if you haven’t already. Also don’t forget about Friday’s show at the Ramada Inn!
Punk Planet: In The Year 20XX
Review of In The Year 20XX, originally published in Punk Planet issue #60, March / April 2004. Written by Tim Kuehl.
Memories of sitting at home in the basement for hours playing Mega Man and Zelda come rushing back after hearing these songs. The first, “Wily’s Castle,” is an instrumental that I swear could be a video game theme: dramatic, epic keyboards and crunchy distorted guitars. The second and third songs are also instrumentals, but with a slightly different feel to them. The fourth song is a 14-minute rock opera with processed, spacey unrecognizable vocals. This eventually leads to my favorite part of the song, at about eight minutes, where they add an accordion with a trumpet, violin, humming and some cadence-style drums. This explaination is pointless, because to understand how cool this is, you have to hear it. This is highly recommended.
Origivation Magazine review
Originally published in Origivation Magazine volume 3 issue 4, March 2004. Written by Robin Parry.
It is a Wednesday night and feels about 30 below in Old City. At the Khyber, in spite of a four-band bill, the “crowd” consists of employees, band members, those screwing the band members and me. I am one moment from pulling a Houdini escape act when I glance, empathetically, at the overly exposed stage area and see 8 men appear before a crimson backdrop. It was not the towering Oscar Wilde like accordion player center stage that glued my feet but instead the hoody cloaked figure sitting on the edge of the stage with a milk crate filled with light effects and finger triggers. His “play station” was soon to become the master control of a “mystery science theatre” stage sideshow for a band named Chromelodeon.
Suddenly, out of the fridged stillness, like thunder from the Holy Mountain of God, Chromelodeon tore apart the garments of the evening’s common threads with a velvet sword. Want a visual? Think Ed Wood. Campy strobes and frenetic pulsing spots tapped out as in divine trance by a mental whirling dervish with a box. Opening with a 20-minute song named, appropriately, Adventures in a Haunted House, Chromelodeon created a frighteningly dark, yet comforting dance of divinity. At it would have been a divine comedy indeed was the music anything less than breathtaking. But breathtaking it was. The air was soon filled with harmonic convergence and divergence, microtonal chutes and ladders that guided you on the 43 tone trip to the spheres. This was hard and gothic in nature. You could not help but get lost in your own thematic interpretation of the tales being spun by this music. The multitude of harmonies was more like the sounds from an orchestra than a club band. This was rock opera. The majesty of the compositions combined with the campy humor of the visual presentation was more than inspired.
Chromelodeon is named after one of the instruments created by Harry Partch. “We collectively decided on the name and this project itself about 2 years ago, with much respect to the inventor and the instruments conventional use juxtaposed with its creative retooling. The chromelodeon itself is hard to come by (or create), and though we’ve considered acquiring one, its practical use in such a large sized band is somewhat limited, haha.” Say’s one Chromelodeon member who chooses to remain nameless. The chromelodeon is a keyboard capable of creating four part harmonies with just one key. Some present day avante artists are known to create chromelodeons by rigging two accordions to achieve the 43 tones per octave. This band, through use of an accordion, several keyboards, theremin, violins, and guitars appear to create the magic as a unit. I fear that this band may often get lumped into the “jam band” category though they truly transcend this and most other musical genres. They have been described as “epic” or “soundtrack rock” but still they are more. My best comparison would be to opera. This music is intellectual and demands participation from its audience. I want to study the language with which it was written so as to better appreciate it.
I tried to get the band to give me some information about themselves and this is all I got from my conversation from the nameless one:
“As far as information about us goes, we like to keep relatively mysterious in a humble sense. I appreciate you grasping the fact we desire people to pay attention to the music, and not the musicians themselves, the irony of which for an 8 piece band without vocals is heavy indeed. We all more or less met in a south jersey arcade in the late 80s, and eclectic tastes congealed after many years practicing together.”
Chromelodeon is, more specifically, Denny Barron, David Chapman, Vinnie Corda, Dino Lionetti, Chris Singer, Ryan Soloby, Danny Tarng, and Eddy Tsang. They are currently performing shows from Boston to NYC supporting their current CD, “In the Year 20XX”. This 4 song, approx. 30 minute CD, will astound all but the Justin Timberlake fans amongst you. Listening to this CD after seeing this band live I would hope to see them next at the Kimmel Center. They are this large, this extravagant. This is high art at its finest.
When their ritual performance was complete and their magic well formed in the stale beer ether of the Khyber, the eight holy men seem to slip back into mortals and exit the stage as if nothing extraordinary had occurred. But we, the small group of witnesses, walk away profoundly changed.
You can find out little more as well as purchase a copy of their masterpiece CD, “In the Year 20XX” from the Chromelodeon web site at www.chromelodeon.com.
Clamor Magazine: In The Year 20XX
Review of In The Year 20XX, originally published in Clamor Magazine issue #26. Written by Jason Kucsma.
The wack-ass cover art for this CD doesn’t betray the genius of Chromelodeon’s debut CD (unclear… is this the debut?). I almost passed it off as a half-assed attempt to endear the CD to the hip-hop and graf culture with its cartoonish caricature raising his fist in the air over a pile of industrial rubbish. Truth is, this is pure gold. Chromelodeon is an instrumental powerhouse (with some minimal vocals) that creates epic tracks from rock and new wave roots – creating something that sounds like Godspeed You Black Emperor! facing Mr.Bungle in a Nintendo Gameboy songwriting competition. This is truly an example of a book that should not be judged by its cover. I consider myself schooled.
Aiding and Abetting: In The Year 20XX…
Originally published in Aiding and Abetting #251 in March 2004.
Damn, I think this set of reviews might end up being some sort of 70s tribute. In a good way, which isn’t exactly something I ever expected to hear myself saying. Nonetheless, Chromelodeon channels 70s prog cheese excess into four songs of epic grace and power.
Not unlike a sci fi-nerd version of the Fucking Champs, these boys play synth-drenched mini-operas full of martial beats and sweeping melodies. This stuff is so excessive that it comes almost all the way back to the mainstream.
Yeah, the stuff is silly, but I think the eight members of the band know that. They’re just having fun. And that’s why this album soars. There’s no pretension to be fond anywhere. Just a few folks getting as loopy and geeked-out as possible.
So by now you oughta know if Chromelodeon might be your bag. If you dig music made on a grand scale, I haven’t heard better stuff in ages. I haven’t had an album thrill me and make me laugh out loud in sheer bliss in ages. Quite the package.
Thanks to all who came out to the show at Eastern University. It was a good show and we had a good time. Next, there is a review of “in the Year 20XX” in the recent issue of Punk Planet magazine. If you happen to see an issue of it, pick it up and check out the review. Finally, we have a few new shows in the works. Some are posted, some are still being worked out and some are all of the above. Hopefully we’ll have all the information on these shows in the next few days. In the meantime, bare with us once again. That’s all for now.
CHROMELODEON NEEDS YOUR HELP! First, our show next Friday, April 9th, in Amherst, MA is cancelled. Apparently the house where show was being held at can not have shows there anymore. We’re sorry to have to report yet another show cancellation. However, we’re going to be up in the area that weekend for two other shows and we are currently trying to book a new show that night. If anyone can help us get on another show that night in or around the area of Amherst, MA you will truly be a hero to many, including us.
Next, we’re beginning to book our summer tour. We are looking to do it in the last week of May and the first two weeks of June and again, we’re going to need some help. We’re looking to hit the east coast, the deep south, the midwest and maybe even Canada on this tour. So if anyone can help us with shows or venue suggestions or a place to stay or really anything, we would greatly appreciate it.
And Finally, Thanks to Erik from Missing Pilots for hooking us up with the new opening picture. And thank you to the lovely people in the Family Portrait Center at Walmart for putting up with us while taking our press photos. The new press photos can be seen in the Pics section. Enjoy!
Smother: In The Year 20XX…
Originally published on www.smother.net. Written by J-Sin.
A self-described 8-piece epic rock group based in Philadelphia, Chromelodeon puts together what could be easily described as prog-rock minus the usual lame high-pitched vocals. They’re certainly good especially on the frantic “Eloquence is Dead” but not precisely memorable. Perhaps it’s the lack of a real frontman (or woman) but I doubt that. They’re probably better live as they claim to have a spastic lightshow that accompanies their live performances.
The show on April 9th has been rescheduled. We will have more information as soon as we get it. Thanks.
Just a few quick things. We’d like to thank to our good friend Lou “Lou Dog” DiDomenico for filling in on drums this weekend. He did an awesome job and totally saved us on this mini-tour.
Another big thanks goes to Harris for getting us on awesome shows and letting us crash at their place for the weekend. They are truely an awesome bunch of guys. If you haven’t checked them out by now please do. They rock mighty fierce.
Finally, thanks to all of those who came out to the shows this weekend, we hope you had as much fun as we did and we hope to see you again next time we’re around.
That’s all for now. More updates coming very soon.
2004-04-27 Battle of the Bands, Mitten Hall at the Owl Cove, Philadelphia, PA
Pamphlet and Voting Sheets:
A night of music at the Cove
Originally published on April 29, 2004 in The Temple News (temple-news.com). Written by Andrea Reich.
Fans and friends filled the Owl Cove on Tuesday night as Temple’s student-run radio station, WHIP 91.3, sponsored their first annual Battle of the Bands. Nearly 30 bands submitted CDs and the station narrowed that number down to 13 bands who were then asked to perform.
Bands were judged on originality, stage presence, timing, lyrics (originality), vocals and overall sound. The judges were WHIP’s own rock director, Alexander Rosenkreuz, technical director, Roy Brown, and Rock DJ, Justin Biasi.
The show was delayed a half-hour, but the bands – when they finally made it onstage – more than made up for it.
The band Orphans offered a rap beat backed up by awesome instrumentals, including a full drum kit and bongos. They won over the audience, forcing the crowd to its feet and to the front of the stage. It would seem they moved the judges as well, because Orphans won second place in the battle.
Temple’s own kept the fun and the music coming when Mini Band took the stage. The group was comprised of a mini guitar, mini bass and mini drum kit.
Other Temple favorites also put in appearances. When Fat City Reprise walked onstage their fans went crazy. There was a lot of love for FCR as fans snapped pictures and sang along. The band’s energy and stage presence was great; it was obvious that they were enjoying themselves.
One of the last bands to play was disqualified when they played over their allotted time. Screams were heard from all over as several band members gave the finger to the judges.
The night switched direction (literally) as the crowd was directed to the wall adjacent to the stage where the next band, Chromelodeon was tuning up.
“Stages are for rock bands and lyrics are for poets,” said the band’s accordion player David Chapman.
This was proven true as Chromelodeon took over the area near the stage and wowed the audience.
Chromelodeon consists of Vinnie Cordd on drums, Ryan Soloby and Dino Linonetti on synthesizer, Dan Tarng and Eddy Tsang on guitar, Denny Barron on bass, Chris Singer on lights, and David Chapman on accordion. Chromelodeon came quipped with their own flashing colored lights, claiming it must be dark when they play. They were a band that truly proved they were musicians. Their sound was genuinely unique, even when compared to the diverse group of bands chosen to play that night. And they lived up to their philosophy; Chromelodeon didn’t need lyrics to win or a stage to prove they knew how to rock.
As the first place winners, Chromeolodeon won $150 to Sam Ash and 8 hours of recording time at the Music Training Center with one of Philadelphia’s top producers. The band was in shock when they heard they won. They were actually still cheering for the second place winners, Orphans, who took home 2 hours of recording time and $75 to Sam Ash.
Chromelodeon’s good news doesn’t stop here. They recently found out their next CD will be put out by Blood Link Records.
With a stellar lineup of Temple bands, WHIP’s first annual Battle of the Bands was a success. Hopefully, Temple students can look forward to its return next year.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the last minute Lost Film Fest show at the C.O.D.E. Space on Friday. We had an awesome time rocking out with you, all along with our new friends from France, Robotnicka.
Another thank you goes out to everyone who came to our show at the Owl’s Cove and helped us win First Place in the Battle of the Bands. It was awesome.
Finally, we’re sorry to announce that we have to cancel the shows we had scheduled for April 30th and May 1st. The two dates conflicted with studio time that we have had scheduled. We will try to reschedule the shows in those two areas soon. We’re sorry if we disappointed anyone who was looking foward to those shows. However we do have good news. We start recording our next record this weekend! We’ll keep you posted on the progress of our recordings.
Earlash: In The Year 20XX…
Originally published on www.earlash.com. Written by Travis Yarak.
Its the final countdown as hosted by Svenghoulie. Dio and King Diamond are thrown obvious props in this recording. Keyboards accompany guitars on their galloping rhythmic horses of slaughter that would scare Martha Stewart back into marriage. She would need a man to protect her from the drummers pounding rolls and emphatic cymbal crashes.
Using sparse vocal collages laid over certain segments of songs, Chromelodeon crank out instrumental metal ballads that mix sentiments of space, nerd melodrama, and guitar riffs reminiscent of early ’90s metal grunge acts such as Alice in Chains and Prong. This CD is incongruously fascinating. Also very kitschy for those indie rockers who like to buy Black Sabbath vinyl from Reckless Records in Wicker Park.
Metal-heads would probably hate these guys, but then again metal is pretty serious. Chromelodeons music mixes sarcasm with musical wit to deliver a genuinely crafted book of music.
Mysteriousness: “Outer Space” really brings home the early-’90s Alice in Chains guitar riffing. Perfectly complementing the guitars are stabbing violins and an almost inaudible high-pitched vocal track. Almost three minutes into Outer Space lurks a harmonic symphony and a ribbing Black Sabbath-esque bass. Noisy cymbal crashes typically heard at any arena rock show mar the end of this part of the song, only to bring back the rhythm section in fuller effect than before.
Voder features what very little vocals there are on this album. King Diamond would be proud to hear the “ooh’s” and “eeh’s” by Chromolodeons members.
“Eloquence is Dead” is the last track on this release. Influences of Man or Astroman?, Naked RayGun, and the Descendents rip through the sound of this songs first few minutes. Topping even Mars Volta in their quest to include as much prog sensibility as they can into one song, Chromolodeon rage back with a tense rope of swinging guitars and vocals that sound like they are modulated by the same instruments used by Britney Spears and the like. You know, the ones that transform your vocals into certain vowels to create a compressed effect.
Although Chromelodeons format has only lasted the test of a four-song EP, I would like to see how they evolve as a band, and am looking forward to an LP from these guys. This epic-sounding music builds from space to earth burning all atmospheres in their way. Even Kool Keith could get with the Chromelodeon.
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