Release Date: 26th October 2007
L'Orchestre de Chambre Noir or just CHAMBER was initially founded in 1998 by the Viennese singer/songwriter Marcus Testory. The first album 'L'Orchestre de Chambre Noir' was released in 2002 followed by the albums 'Ghoststories & Fairytales' in 2003 and 'Solitude' in 2004. CHAMBER’s unique sound, the classical instrumentation combined with the skills and the great voice of Marcus Testory, brought them a big fan base and only positive feedback as far as I remember. After three years and some line-up changes, the new album 'Transitions' will hit the stores at the end of October.
Marcus Testory - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Holger Düchting - Co-Author, Guitars
Andreas Krauß - Piano
Ralf Hübner - Concertmaster, Co-Author, 1st Violin
Olga Hübner - Viola, Violins
Matthias Debus - Contrabass
Sabina Bogus - 2nd Violin
Liudmila Firagina - Cello
Tom Warweg - Drums, Percussion, Vibraphone
http://www.chamber-online.de/ / Http://www.myspace.com/chamberofficial
01. Freak Wave - 3:55
The album opens with a quite aggressive tune. At first a little bit unusual for my ears but now I got used to it and like it. The song is pushing itself forward with the dominating percussions and demanding strings.
02. Insane - 4:42
'Insane' is also the first single from the album and it was a goof choice. The song starts right away with drums and guitars and Marcus Testory starting with the first strophe. The lyrics are about a relationship that has ended and he's asking why this happened, because he thought that they were a good team and that this relationship was something special. But he also seems to move on. The chant in the chorus is accentuated by beautiful arranged strings.
03. Elven King's Waltz - 3:54
If this song won't cause you goose bumps, when listening to it, then I really don't know what else. The song starts out very quiet and minimal with a piano that is playing and some strings that accompany it. But when Marcus raised his voice and sings “...Come take my hand and leave the world of weeping behind...leave it behind”, when the strings build up more and more atmosphere, then I could hardly kept my tears back, even though the chorus is rather uplifting cause someone's helping another person out of a deep dark hole and to leave all the pain behind, to move on to a better world, or better times in his life.
04. Dead Man's Hill - 3:35
A very reduced song at first - only with the guitar and chant and later the piano and violins join in, while the song tells a story of a man, who goes to war for the glory and the pride of his homeland and leaves his beloved behind. Unfortunately he never will come back again as he dies on the “Fields of grief”. As I said before, this is a much reduced song, but suddenly it swells up and chorals and timbales appear, just to disappear a moment later and to return to the reduced arrangements.
05. Deeper Sense - 3:39
“What is a deeper sense of our existence?” That is a question I often asked myself, but never found a good answer to it. Maybe it really is the search of a meaning and sense in everyone's life and to find a place to be happy. The song is presented with gentle drums and many strings sometimes very demanding and sometimes more atmospheric.
06. Mourning Song - 4:05
The loss of a beloved person is always hard, and for a long time it seems as if there was nothing in this world, that could make the pain go away and it's true. The pain will never fully disappear but as life goes on we learn how to cope with it and we remember all the happy moments and things we done together and suddenly it's not that hard anymore, cause we know we will never forget who he or she was. And therefore this special person never truly dies. This song is about such an event I guess and the instrumentation matches the atmosphere of such a moment. A fragile violin starts the song, followed by the guitar and some strings in the further development of the song. It also bears some hope “Goodbye my friend ‘til the day our souls will meet again”.
07. Lost and Found - 3:53
“There was no fate, he said, crossed the road and got hit by a car....” are the first lines of the song, that is more a narration with musical accentuation and Marcus Testory plays the part of the narrator, who leads us through the story, accompanied by the acoustic guitar and the well arranged strings that appear later on. But don't you worry there’s also a part where Marcus sings: the chorus. I could listen to this voice for hours. Well done!
08. Je Ne T'Aime Plus - 3:33
Unfortunately I can't tell you anything about the lyrics, because I never learned French, but we will switch over to the arrangement instead. It is filled up with nice melodies from several instruments for example guitars violins and strings and all together create a likeable atmosphere. Even if you don't understand the lyrics like I do, you can just close your eyes and enjoy the song.
09. Pride goes (Before a Fall) - 3:42
This song seems to tell the story of a very arrogant person, someone who leaves a trail of broken hearts and ruined lives wherever he goes. The person thinks that he or she stands above all the others, but as the title already says: Pride goes (before a fall). It is a quite rhythmic mid-tempo song with the typical strings that spread a certain feeling of melancholy.
10. King of Fools - 3:36
I can't help myself. When I read that title for the first time, I immediately associated it with a certain president of a certain country. But this song with it's whole instrumentation makes me imagine, that I was on a ship with a crew of pirates, that follows every order of their captain the so called “King of Fools” and if something went wrong, don't blame it on us, blame it on our captain, we were just following orders... Sounds familiar doesn't it?
11. Life goes on - 3:35
A relationship has ended and she said “you have changed and it makes no sense anymore”. It's a hard time when a relationship ends and you feel down, but at a certain point you'll say “Life goes on, with or without you”. This song is a very calm and atmospheric tune with a gentle acoustic guitar and many and dense strings.
12. Change the Day - 4:05
A Song that asks many questions! We should do that more often too. Ask questions. Maybe question our own behaviour and whether we want to go on like his or not. Maybe this would really change our minds and lead us to whole new perspectives and to a better life for us. The strings are very dominant in that song, but I like it that way, but the acoustic guitar and even some gentle played drums appear in the song and last but not least the wonderful chant.
13. I wish I was - 5:05
Even though I really like those sometimes monumental arrangements, it is always good to contrast it with something quiet and more reduced. This is one of those songs. There's just the guitar and the voice and the song doesn't get boring for a minute. Simply perfect!
14. The Wide Lands - 3:46
Although I’m usually not a big fan of these pure folk songs, I really liked ‘Hometown’ from the ‘Ghoststories & Fairytales’ album and I like this song too. It is one of the songs that create a certain mood and even give you the chance to dance or just listen to it, but even if you're just sitting around you will nod with your head and feet.
15. The Lady of the Isle - 4:10
Another song, where the goose bumps are guaranteed! This piano melody at the beginning gives me the feeling, that I’ve already heard it some time ago, but I just can’t remember, nevertheless it's a wonderful melody. The strophe sounds more like a tale and Marcus is the narrator, but the vocal style changes and the guitars as well the violin appears and soon after that the mighty strings. This is also the part where the goose bumps should appear. This song also could have been on a soundtrack for a movie. I always imagine a flight over the seas towards a green island with a breathtaking landscape, when listening to this song.
16. Ver Sacrum - 3:40
Another song where I can't tell you that much as I wasn't that good in Latin. The song itself sounds very dark and haunting. This mood is intensified through the whole arrangement. Dark strings and chorals in combination with the drums remind me a little bit of a march of an army of the dead.
After three years of waiting the new CHAMBER album is close to its release and I can say they've done a great job. There's something for everyone on the album. Fans of the more balladry songs will be pleased to hear such beautiful pieces of music like 'Elven King's Waltz', 'Mourning Song' or the 'Lady of the Isle' which are three songs that I really love because they are touching me deep inside and causing me goose bumps. People who love more aggressive and or rhythmic tunes will be pleased with 'Freak Wave' or 'Deeper Sense'. I guess everyone will find something about this album he or she loves. What else can I say than: Great Job and keep up the good work!