Tuesday, 13 November 2012

ALBUM REVIEW - 'ONE WING' by The Chariot

Loud, brutal, frenetic, experimental and brilliantly downright odd - The Chariot, ladies and gents.

One of the things I love about memes is their ability to express that which words cannot; a picture is worth a thousand words etc (this is all relevant, honest). 
Recent press photo of The Chariot
This meme beneath embodies The Chariot. Many bands can claim to be experimental, but One Wing is an example of true non-conformity and experimentation in genre and sound. Remember Art Attack, and Neil Buchanan making large scale pictures out of powder? At first it's like 'huh?', then it zooms out and suddenly it's a masterpiece - that's this album. 

Opener Forget starts things at a frenetic pace, the unmistakeable screams of vocalist Josh Scogin bursting in and relentlessly continuing until the man himself is out of breath amidst a cacophony of riff and noise. This frantic energy continues until suddenly everything drops off into the short, beautiful Your (featuring guest vocalist Angela Plake), before picking back up into pure loud. And that's the album's style, the experimental side that meshes together perfectly. Later, a spaghetti-western segment is added to the equation in First, complete with trumpets, twanging guitar and even a whiplash (it's all very Knights of Cydonia), but maintaining the screamed vocals, making for one of the most distinctively superb outros in The Chariot's repertoire (at the very least). A pseudo-piano ballad also enters the mix, laying raw, emotion-laden vocals over a dark, disjointed tinkling of the ivories, creating in itself an incredibly intense track. It is, all told, a highly unusual combination of styles, and each one is a master stroke in its own manner.

This is an album equally bursting to the seams with genuine meaning , emotion and poer. Initially it might just seem like a conglomeration of several different kinds of chaos, and you'd be right to think such a thing, but there's so much more - each segment has a justified place and meaning. There's meaning hidden in the song titles too; in sequence, 'Forget Not Your First Love. Speak In Tongues And Cheek.' and the manner that the final track closes out is a thought-provoking and sombre yet powerful one.

and that is what sets this album apart from other metalcore/hardcore/etc bands. It also does that which their previous albums have come so close to doing; capturing the breathless, chaotic, intense and insane energy of their live show.  I cannot recommend highly enough that you listen to this; One Wing is a masterpiece by a band that have been at the top of their game for so long, and finally pushed even further - a 30-minute maelstrom of excellence.

Listen here!

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