Artist/ Band: Chain
Title: Exe
Label: Progrock Records
Year of Release: 2004

official Chain website

(click on the link above, for ALL band information on this and the band's other cds)

The Review:

Chain follows up to their amazing debut, Reconstruct, with a release that ups the anti with a 38 minute (7part) opener called Cities. The name of the second release is called Exe and is released through Progrock Records. Henning Pauly is back with some familiar faces as well as some new ones. One of the new ones is fellow Frameshifter, Eddie Marvin Henning adds some guests including Michael Sadler (of Saga fame) as well as Mike Kenneally on guitars and vocals, Steve Katsikas (of Little Atlas) on saxophone plus other musicians and singers. The key vocalist on Exe are Matt Cash and Michael Sadler. With Michael on board, thereís a strong resemblance to Saga in parts. One can even say Chainís Exe, is a prog metal version of Saga while still retaining their own image. Thereís even a Saga cover song that Michael did vocals on called Hot To Cold. Itís from the first Saga release. Itís very faithful to the original especially with Michael singing on it.

As on itís debut, Chain still goes beyond the prog metal genre with usage of non conventional instruments in that genre, such as banjo and saxophone. The last track, Last Chance To See, is the most unusual of the disc, mainly because of itís mostly acoustic sound. Mike Kenneally and Victoria Trevithick share the vocals on it. Itís one of my favorite tracks besides the opener, Cities.

Exe comes both as a regular edition and a special edition which includes a yet to be released behind the scenes DVD of the making of Exe. Iím sure that will give an insightful look into the making of yet another wonderful Chain cd. If you enjoyed Frameshift then this is a worthy release that belongs in your collection. High recommended release for 2004. I canít wait to hear what Henning has in store for the progressive world . I think thereís a hint on the back cover of the cd labeled ďnew projectĒ..

Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on October 8th, 2004

Tracks:

1-7. Cities
8. She Looks Like You
9. Eama Hut
10. Never Leave The Past Behind
11. Hot To Cold
12. Last Chance To See


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