Black Out Sunday

Written by: PP on 28/01/2011 02:07:09

It was quite surprising to find names like Michael Kopietz (Panzerchrist) and Braca Pedersen (Infernal Death) from the death metal scene behind the moniker Chainfist because of how disconnected their latest album "Black Out Sunday" is from their main bands. This is a record that has only hints of metal in it, these being nuances mostly from the heavy metal scene, as it otherwise plays out like a regular hard rock release. Not one like the big timers Nickelback, Default etc from across the band, because Chainfist avoid similar arena-oriented songwriting entirely, but a more down-to-earth and feeling-based one instead.

I say feeling-based because of the way their vocalist reaches out to his soul on songs like "Carpe Diem", singing extended and heartfelt passages like he means them. Elsewhere, a beefier and more aggro approach is used in the instrumentals (and occasionally the vocals) to give the songs some crunch power, but the band never strays too far away from their mediator role in between hard rock and heavy metal. Effectively, the consequence is a polarised opinion about the record as a whole. On one hand it sounds generic-as-fuck, utilizing the tired and cliché concepts of heavy metal as if they hadn't been done to death a billion times already, but the positive thing is that it does reach out to hard rock enough - especially in the chorus melodies - to make a better impression. This happens especially when the band borrows just enough from Metallica's balladic tracks to make their songs sound interesting, however, they lack the finesse to fine-tune and finish the songs into ones that make an impression on the listener. Or at least one that doesn't start and end with bland and, yes, uninspiring.

It's hard to point a finger at exactly one aspect about "Black Out Sunday" that fails to elevate it above an average rating despite skilled musicians behind the project, but one of the key reasons is most definitely that it's difficult to tell the songs apart from the record as they all follow more or less the same formula. The vocals, in particular, could gain a lot more from some variation in terms of tone and pitch, though they do transition from clean to somewhat rougher from time to time. This needs to happen more distinctly to make a difference. As it stands now, "Black Out Sunday" doesn't own enough of an identity or character to stand out from the grey mass, so their voice is unlikely to be heard in as crowded field as their chosen genre.


Download: Edge Of The World, Carpe Diem
For the fans of: Metallica ballads, Godsmack
Listen: Myspace

Release date 15.10.2010
SAOL / H'art / Zebralution

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