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Von Groove – Chameleon [1998]

PhotobucketCountry Canada         

Style AOR

Rating 88/100

Band Mmebers Matthew Gerrard – Bass, Keyboards, Michael Shotton – Vocals, Drums, Mladen – Guitars

Tracks 01. Calling The Wild (4:21), 02. Two Nights In Tokyo (5:09), 03. Chameleon (3:44), 04. Mission Man (3:44), 05. When Love Comes Back (4:16), 06. The Snake (4:13), 07. April May (3:47), 08. All For Rock ‘n’ Roll (5:39), 09. Without You (4:37), 10. Disbeliever (4:07), 11. Propaganda (5:06), 12. Step Sleeping Your Dreams Away (3:47), 13. Soldier Of Fortune (4:20), 14. Barely Human (3:35)

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Profile Chameleon was the third album from Canadian melodic rockers Von Groove, whose 1992 self-titled debut remains one of the best arena rock albums of that decade. Von Groove released a series of high quality melodic rock albums since that debut, and Chameleon is one of their better albums.

The rest of the world may have turned away from melodic rock as the `90s rolled on, but that didn’t stop Von Groove from releasing the kind of album they love. Chameleon is perhaps a bit more laid back than the debut (there’s no “Once Is Not Enough”moment, but it is still a first rate melodic rock album, and is very reminiscent of current works by Honeymoon Suite, Night Ranger, and Bonfire. There are plenty of great guitar hooks, and Michael Shotten’s voice is as dynamic as ever. Highlights include “Two Nights in Tokyo,” “Mission Man” and “Soldier of Fortune,” but there’s really nothing here you’d call filler.

The hard rockers from Canada heavy up their sound on this release, with tough tunes chock full of rolling riffs and chords.  The strength here is more in the songwriting than the distortion, as the band maintains an on-the-edge hard rock/light metal mix.

The band shows loads of energy on songs such as “Missing Man,” “The Snake,” and “All For Rock n’ Roll,” and great rhythms mixed with strong foundations move “Calling the World” and “Two Nights In Tokyo”–the latter having a splendid solo.
The slashing and paced title track is made even better after a thick chorus, and the pulsing and direct note base of “Propaganda” is undeniable. The band is at its pumped best when executing the drive and pull-offs of “Disbeliever,” as the last part of their name is brought to rollicking life.

Chameleon is a very solid album that should make plenty of melodic rock fans happy. Von Groove fans should definitely pick it up, and fans of bands like Harem Scarem, Giant and Tyketto will also find a lot to love here.


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Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Von Groove - Chameleon [1998], 9.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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