Album Title: Chapter II
Label: Rusalka Records
Genre: Progressive Rock/Rock Opera/Symphonic/Theatrical
Chalcedony (Vocals, Piano, Drums, Keyboards, Bass, Flute, Cello)
Chris Wilson (Guitars)
Chalcedony started playing classical piano when he was about six years old. He was inspired by Beethoven and all the classical greats. He then started playing the drums when he was 11. Chalcedony's brother is a guitarist and the pair would jam together all the time. They brothers eventually formed a band together 'Confusion' and the guys used to gig around and write loads of material.
Fast forward to 2003 and Chalcedony decided that he wanted to give rock music a shot, so that's when Chalcedony formed. The band was supposed to be Chalcedony and a few others, inspired by visual kei bands like X-Japan, but the other musicians lost interest at the last minute, so Chalcedony decided to do it alone. The first album, 'Chapter One' took five years to write, record and produce. Besides having his brother recording the guitar parts, Chalcedony did all the musical parts and all the aspects in between himself, from the graphic design, to recording, mixing and mastering. Chalcedony is his stage name, as opposed to the name of a 'band'.
Keeping himself ever busy, Chalcedony is already writing and recording 'Chapter II', which has again taken him five years to write and record due to life's little problems along the way. Close to giving up on this album, he tried to learn by his previous mistakes and finished it, with improved vocals and general music production. Both albums share parts from each other and continue the story, like a theatrical movie. Different parts of the songs make references to other songs through the lyrics and even the notes and chords themselves. Chapter 3 (working on now) will continue on from them as well.
The recording studio is Chalcedony's own loft conversion in a bungalow, where he self produces all the music, with his brother Chris Wilson on guitars. His future plans are to just keep writing music, shoot more music videos of which he has already shot four, and hopefully grow a few extra arms so that he can play the music live, or at least adapt it, since finding members locally for a band of this nature seems next to impossible.
The whole story of Chalcedony is about one man and living with agoraphobia, which limits him from traveling and having opportunities to do music. All the songs express emotions and past experiences, and even future predictions (which unfortunately, have come true), so there are a lot of references to magic and alternative realities. Some of the songs even come to Chalcedony in his dreams. 'I wake up and write the notes and lyrics down on paper (like 'Wrong Again' for example), so there's all sorts of weird and complex stuff in there', he adds.
"I have to admit to having been rather captivated by the sheer expanse of the music, lyrics and the individual vision of this album. So much so that I now undoubtedly feel the need to go out and hear Chapter I. Musical cues are taken from a ginormous amount of sources, with out and out prog ala Genesis or Misplaced Childhood era Marillion being counterpointed by classical piano, quirky pop music, metal riffs, power pop sheen and, well a whole lot more, including church organs. Five years in the making, the album sounds fantastic and whether it be the choral voices, poignant piano, gang sighs, bristling riffs and clamouring percussion of "The Angel", or the West End Musical meets early Genesis, via whispered vocals and classical piano of eighteen minute album closer "Final Love", every note, beat and word is crystal clear and razor sharp. What this allows is for is the emotion of the words and music to tumble out of the speakers and while initially the effect is overwhelming and more than a little daunting, return visits reveal a stark, although at times knowing beauty. The hours and effort that have obviously flowed into this album does make it a slightly flawed work that will undoubtedly confuse almost as many as it convinces. However if you are willing to give yourself over to an album that never even considers compromise, or dilution to be an option, then Chapter II will be a harrowing, yet seductive journey you'll struggle to resist" - Steven Reid, Sea Of Tranquility
"His own musical talent and skill as a performer and producer to make something this ambitious sound cohesive and listenable. Ambitious is too small a word to describe it, I can't help admire the sheer peculiarity of this album" - Uber Rock, UK