Chamel3on - The Mandala Effect - Album Review - Progressive Rock from Denver, Colorado, USA

Chamel3on - The Mandala Effect - Album Review - Progressive Rock from Denver, Colorado, USA

Today we are featuring a promising prog-rock band, CHAMEL3ON, from Denver, Colorado, USA, with their latest long-play album, The Mandala Effect, along with its character, style, story, potential, and more.

There are so many things I have to say about Chamel3on’s latest release, “The Mandala Effect”. I was not ready for this album on my first listen. There was so much to digest with this album. Even placing them in one specific genre of music is hard because they draw from so many different places. I heard Linkin Park, Soundgarden, electric guitar ambiance of Radiohead, and then include modern prog metal riffing that could easily be from any of Dream Theater’s “Metropolis Part 2” or “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence” albums. And on top of this, the vocalist can scream, growl, and sing very well. There are so many different, interesting choices in the music and compositions. Like normal, I will be breaking the song down into its overall components. I will discuss the guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and then the composition/production.

The guitar is the driving force of this band’s sound. He is a great player and has inspiration from every corner of rock and metal it seems like. His primary tone is this interesting heavy crunch tone that goes well with his heavily inspired blues metal riffing. His tone also had a great rawness to it. It is refreshing to hear modern artists doing heavy music that doesn’t sound like djent. I heard a lot of Linkin Park and heavier Soundgarden here in his tone and playing, too. He is experimental and not afraid to show off riffing that would make a prog metal guitarist happy. His clean tone very much put me in mind of older Dream Theater combined with Radiohead. It included a great ambiance where the ambiance was needed. Overall, a great showing from the guitar and the guitar production.

The bass playing and tone on the album was perfect. He has a lot of musical precision and poise. What I mean by that is he never overdoes or underdoes anything on the bass. He is a technical bassist. He riffs hard on the album and has some amazing tapping parts as well. His strength seems to be in his restraint. Being in the pocket as needed, but also, he can riff what the guitarist does and add the energy that the song needs. To be perfectly honest, his mindset towards bass writing reminded me a lot of Collin Edwin from Porcupine Tree.

He also had a great, rawish tone. His bass tone is very well defined. I would say it is the most polished part of the whole production. This is something that a lot of bands miss though. His bass tone fits perfectly with the drums and guitar. Nothing overpowers or overshadows everything else. It has its own perfect spot in the mix and that is a sign of a great tone.

The drums were well played and recorded. Something I very much enjoyed about the drums, and this helped very much in the overall sound of the project, was his rawness. I call this a “medium rare” drum sound. You have the raw, meatiness of what he is playing, but also, in the postproduction process, they didn’t quantize out his humanity or replace any of his hits with MIDI drums. It was all his take, with good mics and a good job on the following mix with, I assume to be just subtle things in the EQ and compression added in the mix and master afterwards. If you are trying to think of another drummer that tone reminds me of his, then check out “Code Orange”. They have a similar feel with mixing drums.

The vocals on this album blew me away and I think are some of the crowning moments on the record. When I first started listening through and analyzing the album I was like, “Okay, his singing is good, but many other bands have done this before.” Then throughout the album, you hear him come out a normal blues rock/metal vocalist with screaming. I was not expecting that, but it fits so well over the music. I heard falsetto and tender moments in his voice. He even had a few Chester Bennington rap momentsas well. Overall, I felt like if Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington combined their vocalists into one vocalist, then this would be it. Amazing job on the vocals.

My thoughts about the overall production were great. As any good mix does, it levels everything out while making sure that no instrument over dominates. I loved the use of the raw drums and guitars with the more polished sound of the bass. Normally, I like very polished music, as I primarily listen to progressive metal, but the humanity was perfect for the production. I am glad they did not take any additional liberties with making sure the playing by each musician as perfect. There are moments where things are not 100 percent on time with each other, but you don’t care. The small imperfections of the playing combined with the “medium rare” rawness of the mix just makes everything seamlessly blend together.

Lastly, I wanted to talk about the master because this is where things could had really gone south very quickly. The master was perfectly dynamic. During the EQ and compression process of raising the volume they did not squash the top end of the instruments. Everything was still crunchy and punchy with a nice warm bass tone. I am so happy that it wasn’t compressed to death, which is something that I could easily see happening with a band like this. Because of the dynamic complexity of their music, they had to leave room for the song to breathe. Great work on the master.

Amazing job overall! Make sure to give them some love on their YouTube channel where they have a music video up for “Meridian”. Hoping these guys have much success in the future.

My name is Adam. If you are interested in any of the music I make or produce, then you check out my instrumental progressive metal project Circles of Namibia and our album “Where It All Began.” Thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoy Chamel3on as much as I did.

In conclusion, Metalhead Community Team congratulates Chamel3on for their new album, The Mandala Effect, and wishes them the very best in their future careers. Thank you for reading.



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