The Chariot

The Fiancee

Written by: PP on 30/04/2007 14:54:20

For those not in the known, The Chariot was formed shortly after frontman Josh Scogin left Norma Jean to pursue other musical interests. This is all a bit strange considering how alike the two bands sound, in fact there are moments during The Chariot's sophomore album "The Fiancee" where I'd be willing to swear it was Norma Jean behind the instruments and a track from "Redeemer" blasting out of my stereo.

That being said, just like "Redeeemer", "The Fiancee" is an awesome album. It's filled with those oscillating rifs that resonate that easily irritable, industrial sort of ringing sound causing earbleeding in the unexperienced. Scogin has really nailed down his vocals for this release, as he sounds more abrasive and in-your-face than ever before. Without sacrificing any of his renowned harshness, his voice has become more scratched and more decipherable, and it's actually possible to distinguish the lyrics from his menaced screams. He is following the exact footsteps of Norma Jean's new vocalist Cory Brandon, and this can be heard throughout the entire album, from the never-ending repeats "There's blood on the rose!!" on "The Deaf Policemen" to the carving screams "BE GRACE, OH MY GOD!!" on "Back To Back".

"And Shot Each Other" starts off with church/choir-style backing instruments before it destroys its way through your skull with an absolutely massive breakdown. Music then pauses to what seems to be a never-ending period of suspense before the next breakdown arrives, and Scogan prolongs his scream into indescribable lengths, sounding better than anywhere else on the album. This is followed by plenty of discordance and dissonance that is oddly contrasted with church choir singing on the background. It sounds like a weird combination on paper, but it perfectly fits a Christian hardcore band like The Chariot, as the choir's religious lyrics burn unforgettably into your mind in the middle of the vibrant noises and effects resonating from the speakers. It depicts peace in the middle of chaos (I'm thinking inner peace versus outer chaos?), and it absolutely succeeds in creating an almost religious-like experience when listened to closely.

The breakdowns and beatdowns are absolutely massive throughout, beating even those on "Redeemer" by leaps and bounds. To put it short, "The Fiancee" is like a 10 track extension of "The Longest Last Statement", just more brutal and more aggressive, and in many ways, more experimental. The kind of all-dominating stage appearance that a song like "They Faced Each Other" generates is inspiring, you almost want to just bounce off the walls in your room while waving your fist ready to squander everything in your way into small pieces. But not even that can describe the kind of hardcore destruction "The Fiancee" offers. It's simply the most brutal, the most aggressive beast of a record this year, it's guaranteed to get comments like "That's just noise, it isn't even music" from even some scene people out there who thrive on this kind of material, but yet it is fantastic both in terms of music and quality.

There's far too much detail for me to explore without extending this review past the three or even four page mark, so I'll be leaving the rest for you to uncover. However, to trigger your curiosity, I will let you know this: take a look at the song titles, and see how they all continue from each other, creating an absurd story. Then look a bit closer, and notice how the songs are paired and each pair is an illogical opposite: "The Deaf Policement" and "Heard This Noise", for instance. There's something twisted lurking underneath this massively insightful beast of Christian hardcore at its best, so give it time, let it settle on you and sing with me: "BE GRACE!! OH MY GOOOOOOOD!!!!"


Download: And Shot Each Other, Back To Back, Then Came To Kill
For the fans of: Norma Jean
Listen: Myspace

Release date 03.04.2007
Solid State

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