Release DetailsLABEL Solid State Records
RELEASED ON 11/16/2004
Everything is Alive, Everything is Breathing, Nothing is Dead, and Nothing is Bleeding
posted on 12/2004 By:
Vying with Harlots for the champions of the longest album title and wordiest track names, The Chariot is the new project of former Norma Jean throat Josh Scogin and that should immediately clue you in as to the nature of this album.
Abrasive, caustic and chaotic metalcore laden with shifting, jagged time changes and squealing, grating riffs littered with painful vocals. The jarring nature of the albums is far from original as The Power and the Glory, Blood Has Been Shed, The Red Chord, The Hostage Heart, Forever Is Forgotten and many others have already done this style better (I hesitate to mention The Nicaea Room). And while certainly more acidic than his former band it doesn’t necessarily mean better and the increased levels of complex chaos make for a attention shattering listen that’s yields few rewards above and beyond acknowledgment of the bands ability to be suitably discordant. The strange thing is though, amid the often indefinable mass of seething noise there are a couple of moments of glaringly good grace filled segues that demonstrate something other than sheer chaos. For example the orchestrated “And Then, Came Then” with its somber symphonics is a sublime and unfortunately too rare occurrence in an otherwise continually discordant offering. The track’s climax actually gave me goosebumps, but the lucidity is soon washed away by the feedback drenched and jarring opening of “The Company, The Comfort, The Grave”.
The thirty minute descent into sonic turmoil is enforced by studio only production with no alteration or modification; and it shows the glass shattering high notes, making my dogs whimper, while the barren yet forceful drum has a natural and untouched primal resonance. Other than the aforementioned “And Then, Came Then”, each of the long-winded songs travels typical, discordant structures and unpredictable loops of stuttering riffage, to the point that songs blend into one merciless assault.
The talent of the musicians is undeniable but when you sit through the grating “Yellow Dress: Locked Knees”, “Some Day In The Event That Mankind Actually Figures Out What It Is That This World Revolves Around, Thousands Of People Are Going To Be Shocked And Perplexed To Find Out That It Was Not Them. Sometimes This Includes Me” (I just had to use that one as an example, or album ending “Good Night My Lady, And A Forever Farewell” the skill is lost in an ear shredding, grimace inducing state of perpetual cacophony. The line that separates blistering complexity and grating noise is not only often stepped over, it’s ground into dust. The banjo break that starts “Die Interviewer (I Am Only Speaking in German)” hints at something slightly different but instead only careens into a sonic car wreck of shattering notes and squealing tire histrionics.
On a rare note, as I rarely comment on album artwork, this isn’t an art review site, the albums layout and stark artwork is superb but misleadingly hints at a somber beauty (as heard on “And Then, Came Then”) rather than the albums rather forceful inharmonious output.
Mouth piece required for the adventurous, patient and tolerant listener.
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