Review Summary: "Now that we got the change, we make the song sound like what we want"
Metalcore veterans The Chariot
are well known for their trademark sound that epitomizes controlled chaos, whether it be on record or the stage (most shows end with shattered instruments and bruised bodies); They’ve stayed true to that sound since their inception, steadily streamlining it as the years have passed. Their recent jump from Solid State to the up-and-coming record label Good Fight showed a new sense of cohesion from the members, as evidenced in their well-received 2010 studio release Long Live
. Jump to the present, and the band is back with a fifth record, 2012’s One Wing
is everything Long Live
was and more; it’s more visceral, streamlined, and experimental. Opener “Forget” bursts out of the gates with conviction, showcasing off-kilter rhythms and time/tempo changes in the vein of Coalesce
; the guitars swirl and bend as Josh Scogin screams his lungs out in what is possibly his most passionate and varied vocal performance to date. Tracks like “In” and “And” (The song titles when said in sequence form two sentences) reveal that The Chariot
’s math roots are in full effect, but also have evolved significantly since previous albums; songs appear to be a bit more linear in their progression, but they have a greater sense of flow as a result. Matt Goldman is once again in the producer’s chair and his results are effective as always, giving the record that blistering crunch while making every extra little bit and piece stand out where it should.
proves to be The Chariot
s most diverse album. The aforementioned tracks are juxtaposed by odd nuances that appear all over the place; the ballad “Speak” is one such example, which is nothing but Scogin belting over a simple chord progression played on the piano, but is somehow moving and quite effective. “Tongues” is a trudging sludge-fest that is brought to a slow halt by a piano-based bridge before bringing the guitars back in to close out the track in a strong fashion. Also of note is the track “First”, which starts with the same heaviness that is expected, but soon cuts out to make way for a Western-sounding guitar line that is quickly built upon with drums and horns, followed by Scogin’s blistering voice once again. As odd as it may sound, it’s deeply satisfying and one of the highlights of the album. The album closes in fine fashion with “Cheek”, which slowly builds over top of an incredibly moving speech by Charlie Chaplin; it almost brings Godspeed You! Black Emperor
to mind until the clip ends and Scogin comes back in with the rest of the band, closing out the album in good form.
realizes The Chariot
’s full potential; the band has a sure grip on what they’re doing and it shows. They’ve outdone themselves in what could possibly qualify as one of the best hardcore albums of the year. Recommended to fans and newcomers alike.