Band: The Chariot
Title: Wars and Rumours of Wars
Label: Solid State Records
Release Date: May 5, 2009
Review By: Luke J
05. Never I
10. Mrs. Montgomery Alabamma iii.
Be prepared for something…um…different. The Chariot have always been summed up as being quite different. They have taken metal music that is random, chaotic, distortion and pushed the envelope as far as they can. To say they’ve created their own genre would be a bit of an understatement. If “the envelope” was a set of Truth Custom drums or a riser of Moss amplifiers, The Chariot have probably destroyed them many times.
Wars and Rumours of Wars is a change for The Chariot, but it is a natural change. You knew that this was coming. “Teach” is the first track on the album and starts like any Chariot song, heavy guitar line accompanied by Josh Scoggin’s brutal scream. But it then takes a turn – for the better. The track changes halfway through to simply distorted guitar and Josh. Changing again shortly after to include drums, random distortion, and an interesting lead guitar…um…I think you’d call it a solo, to end the track. The album continues along a similar path of frantic guitars, un-followable drums, and punishing screams. There is one distinct difference on Wars and Rumours of Wars, and that is that almost every song has a unique ending. The Chariot is infusing a little experimentalism into metal. This makes sense. Rock does this, so why shouldn’t metal? The song endings range from simple palm mutes to frantic drums to distortion and even keyboards. A wonderful addition to The Chariot’s repertoire.
My favorite track, “Giveth”, is halfway through the album and starts with a sample from an old hymn recording. Josh’s vocals make this track an absolute highlight. His typical scream sounds so much more ominous thanks to some great lyrics. “S-s-settle down, we ain’t alone anymore, we ain’t afraid, we cannot be alone anymore…” Josh does this a couple times on the CD, he stutters on purpose and it is extremely effective when accompanied by the randomness of the music. The Chariot have also continued to push what metal/punk vocals sound like. You are taken into Josh’s world when you hear him breathing. I don’t mean that he simply breathes into the mic, I mean you actually feel when he is out of breath. You hear him inhale after the brutal screams. This makes The Chariot so much more believable, and boy does it sound cool.
The album ends with a 6:00 song. “Mrs. Montgomery Alabamma iii.” is a marvelous ending. You hear more frantic inhilations from Josh, feel the brutality in the guitars, and expect the song to end much sooner than it does. The Chariot drags the ending out for 2:30 minutes before ending Wars and Rumours of Wars. But it is not at all out of place. They make it work.
Overall: May 5, 2009 marks the release of the 4th album in the barbarous discography that is The Chariot. Wars and Rumours of Wars is an absolute welcome addition to the arsenal of one of the most cutting edge, boundary pushing metal bands of recent years. “When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” Mark 13:7 (NIV). Give yourself 28:24 with The Chariot and you’ll feel that like the end is here.
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