The Chariot – One Wing

By Taylor C. on August-29-2012 | Filed under Reviews | Tags : , , , | Share

The Chariot – One Wing
Score: 5/5Score: 5/5Score: 5/5Score: 5/5Score: 5/55
4.7 (24 votes)

Artist: The Chariot
Title: One Wing
Label: Good Fight
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Reviewer: Taylor C.

Tracklisting:

  1. Forget
  2. Not
  3. Your
  4. First
  5. Love
  6. Speak
  7. In
  8. Tongues
  9. And
  10. Cheek

The Bard once wrote: “No legacy is so rich as honesty,” so I’ll be honest here. I have always been a fan of The Chariot, but never to the degree where I ran out to buy their albums. Throughout the band’s career, I’ve only been what one might call an “informal admirer”—sitting back in my stretchy pants, streaming songs online and buying one or two tracks here and there. Because I’m such a cheap loser, One Wing was the first full Chariot album that I bought; and thus, this review will be a little different. There won’t be so much comparing One Wing to past releases; instead, there will be more examination of the album as a single work of art. (At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.) In any case, from the songs I’ve heard over the band’s career, they all seem to build towards this album: warming their muscles, cracking their joints, and preparing their fanbase for the musical onslaught that is One Wing.

With this album, The Chariot once again wields their distinguished scepter of chaotic metal and, like some sort of deranged king, uses it to clobber their subjects’ ears until they bleed. Josh Scogin leads the attack with his raw and earthy screams; Steven Harrison and Brandon Henderson kick it on guitars; the infamous Jon “KC Wolf” Kindler plays his swansong via bass (or does he?); and David Kennedy discretely pulls the musical pandemonium together with a tornado of drum beats. Along with the band’s lineup, the album also features a number of guest musicians and vocalists who add some flare to the metal’s unexpected twists and turns.

The 30-minute journey begins with “Forget,” kicking the album off with grinding, energetic guitar licks that dissolve into a disorganized orchestra of screams, drums, and eerie, goregrind riffs played between a thick and heavy breakdown. “Not” follows with similar ferocity, but with more vocal variety—including electronic filtering, hardcore roars, punkish yells, and spoken word. After this track comes to a close, the album is interrupted by a soothing Southern lullaby performed by Angela Plake. This short piece, complete with organs and the beautiful close harmony of the vocalist, might’ve rocked me to sleep if the album didn’t immediately jump back into action. The Chariot’s signature sound pulses throughout the album, sometimes loud and sporadic, other times slow and crunchy with influences in groove and hardcore. There are also more surprises to find throughout the album, including a song that evolves into a baritone guitar spaghetti western, a track with the vocalist and a lone piano, and the final masterpiece, “Cheek,” that contains Charlie Chaplin’s famous speech from The Great Dictator. (If this track doesn’t send chills up your back, I’m afraid you’re either deaf or dead.)

Progressing the music’s superiority even further is the lyrics. If you don’t get a physical copy of One Wing, at least find a copy of the lyrics online. I know that all of us metalheads pride ourselves on our academically-acclaimed ability to translate screams, but we always risk missing something…and we definitely would here. Not only does The Chariot use brilliantly crafted lyrics—full of arranged titles, one liners, witty word play, and innovative stanzas that smell of Modernist poetry—but they also twist spellings to convey different meanings. For example, in “Forget,” Scogin belts the line: “Patients my dear, the waters coming. Rest with peace.” Likewise, in “Not” the trick line is: “Poison takes in vain…Your portrait smiles in vain.” The common digital listener would easily miss these distortions; and, darn it all, that would be a shame.

Like most of The Chariot’s lyrics, their implications can be vague, but that doesn’t subtract from their artistry when shrieked over music. My favorite lines include: “Some dragons are misunderstood,” “Stand in line or turn and draw,” “She was beautiful like cancer,” “They lost their voice in the choir,” “Keep the car running,” and “The forest marches on.” They even give a brief nod to The Beatles’ song “All You Need Is Love,” putting a darker twist on it with the addition of: “We are all capable of love. We are all capable of cancer.” The mention of ghosts and trees also appears throughout the album, possibly suggesting some sort of plotline that I tried and failed to flesh out.

Along with the music and lyrics, the artwork for One Wing is another significant factor that makes this album so good. When I first saw the art, I knew that I needed to own a physical copy of the CD. Trey Moseley‘s seemingly absurd painting perfectly represents the album’s hectic sound and ambiguous lyrics (especially the tracks “Forget and “And”); and although the work is never shown in its entirety, more pieces are revealed within the CD booklet.

Overall: One Wing is an unconventional album (loosely rooted in the genres of metalcore, mathcore, hardcore and punk) that’s emotional and entertaining in both style and delivery. With this album, The Chariot not only proves that they have the power to create chaos, but they prove that they have the talent to capture it, contain it, and shape it into something worth listening to—something beautiful. There’s no doubt that The Chariot’s comfort zone is outside of their comfort zone, and it definitely shows in One Wing.

RIYL: Converge, Every Time I Die, Norma Jean, Oh Sleeper, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Training For Utopia

[Buy the physical album here or download a digital copy here.]

The Chariot - One Wing, 4.7 out of 5 based on 24 ratings

Click here to list all the current reviews by Taylor C.

About the author Taylor C.

"I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter." —T.S. Eliot View all posts by Taylor C.

80 Responses to 'The Chariot – One Wing'

  1. Wow, is this our first 5 ratin? Guna hafta chek this out.

  2. Chandler A. says:

    I preordered my physical copy on the 20th, and according to merchnow, my order still hasn’t shipped….it’s been 9 freaking days. I’m not a happy camper >:( This review just got me more pumped for this release though

    • Brody B says:

      I’ve heard of a ton of people still not getting theirs yet… I’m not trying to brag, but I got mine last Saturday so I figured everyone else would have too :( My heart weeps for you, my brother.

    • Taylor C. says:

      O_o That is a bit weird. I got mine on Monday.

    • thruchristalone777 says:

      I ordered mine on the 20th as well and haven’t received my copy either. So you’re not the only one Chandler…

    • Chandler A. says:

      Haha thanks Brody. Jealous of you and Taylor C. Thruchristalone777 I’ve been listening through my The Chariot discography to get pumped for this while I wait :P I e-mailed merchnow support yesterday and they still haven’t responded…their info section says 2-5 business days for processing and it’s already been 7…

    • Chandler A. says:

      Hey good news, just got an email saying they were out of One Wing, but they just received another shipment and are shipping everyone else’s out tomorrow morning :) HALLELUJAH

    • thruchristalone777 says:

      I guess mine did get shipped after all. It was in my mailbox after I got home from school today.

  3. Bump Galletta says:

    Love this album! so good!

  4. Lucas says:

    Agreed with 5. Best heavy album of the year for me! Even though we’ve known about it for a while, I think I still love “Speak” the most. Anyone else get serious serious chills when the piano picked up in the last minute?

  5. WarriorSam says:

    Also agree with the 5! Amazing album!!

  6. Shane McKnight says:

    I don’t always place my user rating on album reviews, but when I do, The Chariot.
    (Incorrect grammar intended, like “My other car is a The Chariot”)

  7. Scott Fryberger says:

    I heard that KC Wolf left the band to go back to college. This is from Wikipedia, so I don’t know how accurate it is. Anyone?

    • Mason says:

      Ya I hear Stevis did bass on this album but I’m not 100% sure on that

    • Taylor C. says:

      Yeah, I’m not entirely sure either. I read some stuff that said KC played on this album before leaving, but it wasn’t anything official. The band started recording in Feb. and he left in June, so I’m assuming he recorded and then left prior to touring. I don’t know for sure, though.

    • Shane McKnight says:

      He did record but then left, not sure the reasons, you’re probably right, but I saw a video of them playing one of the new songs live at a festival, and they had the bass track playing through an amp from a digital file to sound more live.

    • BrodyB says:

      I heard Wolf left before they went into the studio. He just didn’t annouce it til a few months later. As far as live, Scogin said that the guitars were also being played through bass pre amps or something like that, so it was essentially like they were using two guitars AND two basses. He went as far as to say it was the biggest sound they have ever had live…. This is all just going from memory without and actual source, but I figured I would put in my two cents!

      Also, Scott, that is true as far as I know

    • evan144 says:

      Actually, the bass is played through the low tones of Stevis and Brandon’s guitars. They have both have a splitter pedals that can pull out just the lows from their guitars and make that into an individual bass channel. Then they also have their guitar track too. May have played the bass digitally for like one show, but this is how they have been doing it since Wolf’s departure.

    • evan144 says:

      And yes, Stevis and Brandon recorded bass (on an actual bass lol) on the record. Wolf had no part in this record, other than helping write some songs pre pre-pro. He actually left the band in like January, but wasn’t annouced till like June, I believe.

    • Tim says:

      Wolf was still in the band when I saw them on their European tour. Think that was around March.

    • evan144 says:

      Oh, whoops, yea you are right! He left right after the euro tour!

  8. thruchristalone777 says:

    After having given this a listen I completely agree with the score. My only complaint is that I wish it was a little longer. My favorite part of the album is the crazy Ennio Morricone type instrumental that shows up out of nowhere. It completely caught me of guard on my first listen which makes it totally awesome.

  9. Jamos41 says:

    The Fiancee and Long Live are my 2 favorite albums…..but this one is creepin in there

  10. I’m glad that even though you’re not a The Chariot addict, you still felt obliged to give them a 5/5 rating. It’s a good witness to how amazing they are and how it’s not just a bias from a die-hard fan. My reviews would ever be tainted with rose-coloured glasses, because I have so much respect for them. Thanks for the review.

  11. Drum_mer says:

    I honesty like this more than long live, maybe it’s because my musical taste has evolved or this is just a better album.

    • Godzola says:

      just a better album. Such a mature release.
      Other than the lyrics, the biggest thing that jumps out to me is the production. Matt Goldman out did himself. The production is unreal. Listen to this album on the best speakers you can find. The bottom end is full and rich, the drums hit even harder than Long Live (which hit pretty damn hard), some of the guitars are straight up the grittiest, meanest tones I’ve ever heard, and there are too many interesting, complicated vocal filters used on Scogin.

  12. taborrr says:

    This is easily my favorite The Chariot album. I loved The Fiancee, but this just took it’s place.

  13. I heard on other sites that this was absolutely phenomenal. I don’t usually get into metalcore but I did really enjoy Long Live, can’t see this being any different.

    • Lucas says:

      If you liked Long Live then you’ll probably love this. But metalcore this is not! People have labeled it that way, but they’re something completely different. Maybe artcore? Is that even a genre?

    • BunnySlippersMan says:

      Can’t believe no one’s mentioned the awesome cover art yet.

    • BunnySlippersMan says:

      in the comments for this review, I mean :P

    • they do some different things for sure but I think they’re more metalcore than anything else (but I haven’t heard nearly everything they’ve done). and no artcore is not a genre lol

    • evan144 says:

      I don’t think they are anywhere in the realm of metalcore. I mean this band sounds nothing like As I Lay Dying (the stereotype metalcore band). They described themselves as chaotic rock. That seems fitting. They are just super aggressive, all over the place, rock.

    • thruchristalone777 says:

      I’ve heard the Chariot categorized as mathcore before, along with bands like Converge and the Dillinger Escape Plan.

    • Justin (emergenscenery) says:

      Definitely Mathcore. Akin to The Acacia Strain, The Red Chord, Converge, Dillinger, The Number 12 Looks Like You, etc.

    • yeah mathcore/metalcore. I usually go by RYM genre tags. I think of mathcore as being a subgenre of metalcore and for someone that doesn’t listen to that much of either the broader term gets used more.

    • evan144 says:

      Josh came right out and said they aren’t mathcore. Dilinger Escape Plan is the epitome of mathcore, but Scogin says mathcore involves very precious planning of time signatures, of which, The Chariot does not do. He said yes their sound could be “mathy” but it’s unplanned and just coincidence.

  14. Luke Foster says:

    I find it interesting how many people are hopping on the chariot now. They didnt get that much hype before long live which i find rediculous because their first three rule.

    • evan144 says:

      I so agree! I mean, The Fiancee should have been HUGE! But whatever, One Wing dominates anything they have done!

    • metalhunter says:

      This cd is good, my favorite overall song is Yanni Depp.

    • Loren Wade says:

      I’ve always been a The Chariot fan, but I never did like the first release.

    • evan144 says:

      I like their first one for how they recorded it…went super old school and all instruments were recorded simultaneously in one take, but other than that, the songs were SUPER raw! I liked some of them, but by far my least favorite. But boy, did it pave the way for some insane albums!

    • Shane McKnight says:

      Yanni Depp was like 5 years ago

    • Mason says:

      “All we are crocodiles”

    • Justin (emergenscenery) says:

      I really like the first album. “If Wishes Were Horses…” is one of my fav Chariot songs.

    • Tim says:

      They’ve essentially got better and better with each release. ‘Wars & Rumours of Wars’ was where they stepped into a different league for me but then ‘Long Live’ blew it out of the water with the creativity. I cannot wait to hear this new one (not out in the UK for a few weeks sadly) but if it’s as weird as Josh has been saying in the interviews I think I’ll enjoy it. They make heavy music so much more interesting than the rest of the crowd.

  15. evan144 says:

    This is basically perfection and genius contained! I am at a loss for words exactly what to say, but bravo The Chariot, bravo!

    And I am SO glad they used Chaplin’s famous speech from The Great Dictator on Cheek. That speech STILL brings me to tears every time I hear it! The speech (in full) should be required for all human beings to watch!

  16. Lucas says:

    This album is still getting better with every listen. And it was pretty darn good the first time!

  17. Chandler A. says:

    Well, in the time that I’ve had before my CD has come (it’s still not here!), I’ve listened through my Josh Scogin discography from Bless the Martyr w/Norma Jean through the entire The Chariot discography as well as watched “The Great Dictator”…I’m going to have a full appreciation for this album. Still need to listen through Luti-Kriss stuff though.

  18. my favorite memory of Josh Scogin will always be him joining Dan Smith of Listener on stage and playing guitar for a cover of Pedro the Lion’s “Priests and Paramedics.” That was incredible.

  19. Travis Aker says:

    This album is just awesome I brought at Hot Topic for 9.99. From start to finish,the controlled chaos of this album is just beautifully well done and the lyrics are simple and straight to the point,and I love it when they put in the word samples that appear out of no where but yet have a Godly message to it. 5/5 for me.

  20. Andy K says:

    I love the new album, but I was pretty bummed that I couldn’t find a physical copy of the album and I live in The Chariot’s hometown. Luckily it was only 7.99 on iTunes.

  21. JonBoy says:

    I’m not the biggest fan of the Chariot. I only have Long Live and now One Wing. However, I’ve really enjoyed this album’s fantastic genre crossing.

  22. Lucas says:

    This album is STILL getting better with every listen. Just when I think I have it figured out something new hits me. Heavy AotY for me no doubt, but at the rate it keeps growing on me it might actually top everything else.

  23. TheArchangel says:

    BEST The Chariot album yet… T’was hard to decide that, but I think I am thoroughly convinced.

    Oh! And ‘Speak’ = audio gold

  24. Chandler A. says:

    The only song I would not define as “outstanding/fantastic/amazing/” is ‘Tongues’ that track was just good for me, all the rest were GREAT. Definitely AOTY so far.

  25. I loved the ending of ‘in’ – the way he screams kind of reminds me of Drew York. I’m also loving the ‘Speak’ demo more than the album version. I’m gonna have to say that ‘Forget’ is my favorite, though it doesn’t quite compare to Never I & Andy Sundwall. This album is quickly becoming my favorite so far.

  26. I finaly got this. Its a gud album, but not a “5″ 4 me. I think The Fiancée+ is ther best overal. I giv this 1 a 3. Maybe it wil grow on me 2 a “4″, who knows.

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