Review Summary: Gritty deathcore with a melodic touch.
Chosen is a melodic death metal duo from Ireland consisting of Paul Shields, who covers vocal, guitar, and bass duties, and David McCann, who handles the drums and percussion. They’ve released a few unsigned EP’s in the past that slid under the radar by virtually the entire music scene, and now here they are with an independently released, melodeath-metalcore-progressive hybrid of a full-length; and it’s really damn good.
is a thick sounding album, both production wise and musically. Each song hovers between 5 and 7 minutes, and at not one moment in any song do they lose focus, each being its own beast. Opener ‘Engines of Belief’ is a standard groovy death metal track with great breakdowns and a 80’s classic heavy metal solo section near the end. ‘Defective Prospection’ is more of a chugger, starting with galloping riffs leading into a psychedelic progression and clean vocals being sung through an odd phaser effect, but it all works. The proggy ‘The Narcissism Epidemic’ opens with a beautiful flute-acoustic guitar intro which is one of the album’s many highlights. The contrast between melody and dissonance is very tastefully done. The Narcissism Epidemic’, along with ‘Instinct’, ‘Diminishment’, and ‘The Departure Lounge’ are the more melodic songs on the album. Not to be confused with soft, as the first couple minutes of ‘The Departure Lounge' are riff after riff of unforgiving death metal. Melodic leads just shine more clearly in those tracks while others, such as ‘Mental Clarity’, ‘Asch’s Paradigm’, ‘Metaphysical Contradiction’, rely more on gritty riffs and repeating choruses to drive the song.
The production is bliss – the guitar tone is dark and abrasive, giving the perfect balance so the melodic sections don't sound cheesy and for the crunchy riffs to sound dirty and gritty as all fuck. The bass could’ve been louder but it generally follows the rhythm guitar except for a few very brief moments (‘Diminishment’). Shields has a raspy death metal growl, and while he doesn’t have the most dynamic voice in death metal, there are a number of times where his voice carries the music. His clean singing works particularly well when handled in short bursts, like in ‘The Departure Lounge’ where the chorus is only a few well-chosen notes that create a simple yet effective hook. The drums are thoroughly excellent – David McCann can definitely play and thankfully doesn’t have the urge to show off any chance he gets. Both are great at what they do and make for an incredibly tight rhythm section.
is far from perfect. Not all instances of clean vocals work as well as they should – some come across nasally or awkwardly shoehorned in the chorus. Also the drums, specifically the snare drum, sounds flat in the mix. But these discrepancies are nothing compared to the big picture, which is that Resolution
is a wonderful debut and shows that Chosen could become a big player in the deathcore scene if they play their cards right.