Chased By Shades

Written by: AP on 31/01/2014 23:06:24

Cedron first blipped on my radar back in 2012, when the Swedish group submitted a promotional copy of their "Watching the Sun Turn Pitch Black" EP to us; a record which impressed me with its sheer, unforgiving despondency, for which I pinned their withering industrial hometown responsible. On this debut album "Chased by Shades", the band's outlook is potentially even more bleak, though the anxiety has been distilled into a much more enormous sound reminiscent of the sort often deployed by post-rock and -metal bands.

The album begins rather deceptively with the brief metallic chug and gang roared punchline "Say it to my face / My fucking face!" of "Winter" suggesting a different nature for Cedron altogether; a tougher and less nuanced stylistic approach that I tend to despise. But such concerns are swiftly swept aside by the monolithic "Lost Woods", in which Larsson's anguish is combined with that of guest vocalist Thomas Florén of Meleeh, and the sad resonance of the guitars mingles with eruptions of blastbeats in a way not at all dissimilar to Cedron's compatriots Yersinia; the alarm and intensity of the galloping "Built of Roaches"; and the distressing cascade of hatred that is "Witnessed", a song reminiscent of Last Witness and TRC. And if those songs fail to harrow you, then perhaps "Sovstad" will dismantle your emotional castle with its rather negative outlook, spoken frailly by a female guest around a splicing stab of belligerence by the musicians:

You stared straight into the fire. Your eyes melt. Air, building. Your eye sockets are bleeding. You've seen too much. You've touched too much. What's the point of having a cute little ass? What's the point of anything? You just end up dying. It doesn't matter. There you lie in your grave with your cute little ass. It's not so cute anymore. It's full of worms. So why should I take my medicine? I'm only going to die. Or have you invented a new medicine that will fix everything? And you can make all the world a paradise? Where everybody feels good, and nobody feels bad? And no one feels fat and ugly? Can you do that? When I went to school, in the horrible, horrible little place where I grew up, that I don't even wanna say it's name, there was never anybody there who wanted me. Not even me.

Jesus. But while the atmosphere of "Chased by Shades" is perpetually grievous, it is also empowering; the misery betrays a simultaneous desire and will to overcome. Anton Larsson's shrill screaming is harrowing, true, but at no point does he sing in a way that implies submission to, or even acceptance of despair as a constant state. No, this is a man fuelled by his anger - and similarly, Dennis Bertilsson's melodies never feel resigned, nor does the rhythmic input of bassist Christoffer Goude and drummer Joakim Pettersson have any shortage of oomph; suggesting that above all, Cedron wish to impress catharsis on the listener, to drive them to clutch the reins of their own life and do whatever is necessary to burst free of the torment that keeps them subdued.

In that sense, it's not as misanthropic as for example Amber's latest outing "Lovesaken" or the symphony of self-destruction that was Veils' 2012 EP "Clarity". Rather, this is the frustrated scream of someone stuck in a place of few opportunities, seeking both an outlet, and an escape. I'll readily admit to stretching the metaphor, perhaps even beyond what Cedron hope to convey with their music. But listening to "Chased by Shades", these are the feelings and imagery evoked within me. My own thoughts are sent back to times when, at the risk of sounding like someone with serious first world problems, life was serving me lemons.

As such, despite making numerous forays into the less inventive corners of the hardcore genre midway, there's plenty of pressing melodic misery redeeming such mishaps in the closing duo "In Vow" (featuring another cameo from Florén) and "Pavement Cemetery", both of which bear a certain resemblance to Bring Me the Horizon by virtue both of the clean and harsh fusing singing style which Oliver Sykes perfected on the two most recent BMTH albums, and of the resonant enormity of the instrumental parts. Indeed, "Chased by Shades" provides exactly what a melodic hardcore album should: a cathartic, redemptive outlet for those able to identify with the struggles of which Cedron speak, and which motivate them. It isn't a perfect example of this, but there's certainly enough value here to warrant some flattery.

Download: Lost Woods, Built of Roaches, In Vow, Pavement Cemetery
For the fans of: Last Witness, Meleeh, TRC, Yersinia
Listen: Facebook

Release date 26.10.2013
Pee Records

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