The Chariot

Wars And Rumours Of Wars

Written by: PP on 29/05/2009 18:22:15

The Chariot's debut album "The Fiancee" was a bit of a special album for the staff of this magazine. When it was released two years ago, it went straight into the hearts of many of our writers who subsequently voted for the album to be the fourth best album of 2007. It was the year when Norma Jean released their masterpiece "Redeemer", and since that The Chariot vocalist Josh Scogin used to be in the band, he probably thought they needed to at least match their close genre colleagues. And they didn't just match them. Two years later, I remember much more from "The Fiancee" than I do from "Redeemer", which speaks volumes for the longevity of the record despite its destructive chaos. If there's one band whose music can best be described as destructive, it's the stop/start feedback hell of The Chariot; the breakdowns are humongous, and the crushing guitar passages sound like the band are effectively smashing their guitars against each other during an earthquake. Whether you'll like that or not will depend on personal preference, but somehow in the midst of it all The Chariot are able to inject just enough melody to keep you screaming along as the songs pass by. "Wars And Rumours Of Wars" is the band's sophomore album, and it's essentially "The Fiancee" part two, except with better instrumentation.

Better riffs and an overall more interesting instrumental landscape. That's what's different on this album as opposed to the band's earlier material, though this can be attributed to the fact that vocalist Scogin is the only original member remaining in the band. Everyone else has been switched out since "Unsung EP", but that doesn't seem like it's stopping this band. Scogin has always been an amazing screamer and for the most part, this album is like an exhibition for him to show just what kind of lunatic rage he can represent with his coarse scream. The record is full of repetitive lyric passages where he screams like a tormented beast unmatched by any modern vocalist, lines like "Victory is such a LONELY WOOOORD" (on "Teach") are sure to have your ears begging for mercy. If his voice alone won't do so, then the instruments will, because they essentially consist of 30 minutes of noise-obsessed feedback worship and earth-splitting breakdowns. Especially metalheads will find their stop-start sequences annoying as hell, but other fans of heavy music will surely appreciate the way they reference Converge without actually sounding like the band.

I would've liked some more a Capella bits where Scogin screams some repetitive part without any of the instruments (The "BE GRACE, OH MY GOD" passage of "Back To Back" being the best example from the last album). "Abandon" comes pretty close with its raw "IS THIS THE BLESSING OR THE CURSEEEE" screams, but I just wish there were some more of these displays of unrelenting fury, because this is what makes The Chariot so good. In fact on a holistic level "Wars And Rumours Of Wars" lacks the sheer number of similar reference points of "The Fiancee", but at the same time, these have been replaced with far more interesting riffs, as seen on the best track on the album "Daggers", for instance. So that leaves me with just one problem, how should I rate this album? I'm gonna go with the same rating as I had on my initial impression, a solid 8, which represents an overall strong and solid record, but realistically speaking, "The Fiancee" was somewhat better.

8

Download: Daggers, Teach, Abandon
For the fans of: Norma Jean, Oh Sleeper, Heavy Heavy Low Low, Architects
Listen: Myspace

Release date 05.05.2009
Solid State

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