Released: 2000, Metal Blade Records (European Release)
After a few line-up changes and false starts dating back as far as 1988, Germany’s Chinchilla got their biggest break in 2000 when they signed to Metal Blade Records, Germany.
Chinchilla’s Madness begins with a short and un-necessary intro (why do all albums need intros these days?) followed by three of the albums strongest tracks – “Fight”, “Freedom” and “Queen of the Rain.” Yes this is power metal and yes it is not offering something totally new. However, I cannot deny that this is well written, well played and therefore deserving of attention. If you look for comparisons to other bands then you can file this one alongside bands like Angel Dust, Brainstorm (Andy B. Frank even does some backing vocals on the CD), HammerFall and to some extent Gamma Ray. This is not epic power metal but more of the “meat and potatoes” power metal akin to the aforementioned bands. The album slows down on the tracks “Broken Heart” and “Anymore” – both are ballads. “Broken Heart” boasts a strong chorus but lackluster verses while “Anymore” doesn’t have much of going for it. Maybe I’m just not a big ballad fan? Either way, it’s not one of the CD’s finer moments. Although covering Kiss had become trendy in recent years, not a hell of a lot of power metal bands has decided to jump this trend. The scary thing here is that their vocalist sounds like a dead ringer for Paul Stanley on their cover of “I Stole Your Love.” On the albums other tracks he does not sound like Paul Stanley though, so if you are not a Kiss fan don’t let this worry you. This cover is even complete with the famous intro “You wanted the best, you got the best….” Some other moments on the CD that stand out for me include “Living On My Own” with some great vocal work arrangement with the backing vocals. “Tears” and “Dark and Light” are both impressive and feature powerful memorable choruses, a common, yet welcome trait, amongst German power metal bands.
Don’t let their band name fool you. Sure, a Chinchilla might sound like a banana brand name or a species of monkey to some of us, but this is a band I would recommend without hesitation to fans of power metal! To my knowledge this CD has not yet been released in North America but if you shop online you should have no problem tracking down a copy. Chinchilla’s website can be found at http://www.chinchilla.rocks.de
Unfortunately it’s just about entirely in German. Some information on the band in English can be obtained form http://www.metalblade.de