Exposé Online banner

Chameleon — Rising
(Shroomangel SR-CD0002, 1980/2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-01-29

Rising Cover artHistory is replete with young American bands that came of age in the early 70s, profoundly influenced by the then-current crop of British progressive acts. Some of these bands broke nationally (Kansas and Styx come to mind), but most were local heroes not generally well known outside the cities where they played — Pentwater, Cathedral, Happy the Man, Ethos, and Babylon, for some examples that made it out of the recording studio with product. Just as many more worked their magic with solid local followings but left no recorded legacy. Houston based four-piece Chameleon (also known as Lorien in their earlier years) falls into the latter category, though with this release, which includes recordings from throughout their career — although most are from 1976 and 1978 sessions, their legacy is solidly preserved. “Texas Cyclone,” a nine minute track from ’74 that opens this set recalls the glory days of The Yes Album, with a little ELP, Flash and Gabriel-era Genesis blended into the mix of ideas. Certainly not a bad starting point, and a respectable effort it is. The remaining dozen cuts here are equally impressive in the compositions, tight arrangements, and superb ensemble playing by all members. Singing duties were shared by several members, with different voices are at the fore at various points, offering some variety. The influence of later period Floyd, VDGG, Camel, and King Crimson are also in evidence, although as time went on the band developed more of their own sound. What is most impressive about this set is that it doesn’t sound like a collection of odd demos recorded at different times; a lot of time was taken to restore and remaster these tracks so they sound like the reissue of a real album from the period. A solid recommendation here for fans of 70s prog.

Filed under: Archives, 2013 releases, 1980 recordings

Related artist(s): Chameleon

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gong - 2032 – In 2032, or so the legend goes, Planet Gong finally makes contact with Earth. And I guess that you can consider 2032 to be the fourth part of the Radio Gnome trilogy. This new release is the first...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues