Review Summary: Light it up and pop a bottle, cause your boys are back!
American metalcore band Attila is a divisive act, to put it lightly. This Atlanta-based act are praised for their fun, balls-to-the-wall take on the genre, and their general “*** you” attitude. On the other hand, Froznak and company are often critically panned for composing played out core and nu-metal clichés and their extremely cringe-worthy lyrical content. Their 2016 album, Chaos
, while not utterly meritless, mostly proves their detractors right. Decent metalcore performances are consistently marred by terrible lyrics, bland music, and jarring attempts at introducing variety; blatantly ripping off multiple bands in the scene along the way.
is certainly not the worst metal album released this year. The production is acceptable. The rhythm guitars are dominant in the mix, but it’s not a huge deal for a heavy album like this. However, there are occasional solid lead guitar parts on tracks like “Ignite” and “Let’s Get Abducted”, that interweave with the down-tuned riffing. They tend to get drowned out here, and it also leaves the listener wanting to hear more throughout the album’s runtime. Froznak is also a very talented harsh vocalist when he uses his more traditional approach, which makes the actual lyrics harder to understand. The few times Attila ignores the recent nu-metalcore trends are the few decent moments on the album.
Not every record needs to have deep, thought-provoking lyrical content to be listenable. If the performances are engaging enough, the lyrics can almost be an afterthought. This album tries so hard
to come across as tongue-in-cheek and self-aware. There’s ways to make this approach refreshing. The references to Snapchat, the thousands of ways he can say “I don’t give a ***”, and the hip-hop slang and memes that are consistently a tad behind the times seem like they are recycled from Fronz’s media page than anything he put actual effort into penning. This all could have actually worked
if it wasn’t filled to the brim with bizarre attempts at being ironic.
Most of Chaos
clearly wears its influences on its sleeves. Any variety found here comes in the form of bastardisations of several superior bands. “Moshpit” sounds like a reject from Tech N9ne’s Strange Music crew teamed up with Slipknot tribute band King 810 to make a b-side to Midwest Monsters
. “Legend” has a typical “uplifting” cleanly sung chorus lifted straight from Bring Me the Horizon’s Sempiternal
. “Obsession” delivers subdued, “eerie” nu-metal that apes (amongst others) Of Mice & Men’s more recent output, who are in turn aping bands from ten years ago. Perhaps the worst offence here also comes from “Obsession”, it uses an automatic firearm to introduce the rhythm to the upcoming breakdown(!). The entire section, right down to the rhythm, is almost unarguably lifted from a War from a Harlots Mouth song released back in 2007.
It's mixed adequately, the breakdowns are fun sometimes, and these guys are talented musicians. That isn’t enough to give anyone reason to listen to this album more than once. “Let’s Get Abducted” is the only song that doesn’t have any cringe-worthy moments. There are better albums in their own discography and there are popular metalcore albums in this vein that are executed more proficiently. Chaos
was written by a band that focuses more on their marketing and their social media than on the music itself.