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JFH Staff Review




The Chariot
The Fiancée



Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 10 tracks: 29 minutes, 36 seconds
Street Date: April 3, 2007


Ask any metalcore fan what they think of when you mention The Chariot, and typically two thoughts will dominate- first, really short songs- and second, incredibly heavy songs. Since making a ruckus with 2004's ridiculously long-titled Everything Is Alive, Everything Is Breathing, Nothing Is Dead, Nothing Is Bleeding, the band has obviously gone to great lengths to differentiate themselves from all eighteen thousand other groups of similar sound and intensity. Depending on your perspective, they may have succeeded with The Fiancée.

The instant the opening track "Back to Back" hits, the assault begins. Josh Scogin's growl blends neatly in the folds of grinding bass and guitar with such an intense amount of distortion it seems like the sound itself has come out of the amplifiers and been thrashed in midair by a wet noodle covered in gravel. The songs are short- I mean really, really short- most barely clocking over 2 minutes apiece. The entire album lasts less than half an hour, but for that span you'll mostly feel like you're being punched in the face- so perhaps the brevity isn't a bad thing.

Even some fans of such heavy music have difficulty listening to The Chariot due to the random chaotic nature of their songwriting. Verse, chorus, bridge… all semblance of conventional songwriting is disregarded in favor of intensity. It's hard to tell if aside from reduced feedback their sound has been polished at all. Producer Matt Goldman once again does a great job of separating the elements, but the music is so raw and rampant by nature that people unfamiliar with the genre will hear incohesive noise.

All is not force and clamor, though. Paramore's Hayley Williams delivers guest vocals during the epic latter half of "Then Came To Kill" (a remake of prior Chariot track "Kenny Gibler"). An unexpected guest harmonica played by Aaron Weiss of mewithoutYou graces "Forgive Me Nashville," followed by the final moments of the album- when everything stops except the Sacred Harp Singers belting out with the abandon of a true gospel choir: "The chariot! The chariot! Its wheels roll in fire, as the Lord cometh down in the pomp of his ire!"

Left the solitary original member of The Chariot- former Norma Jean frontman Josh Scogin's trust and faith in God ring captivatingly in every lyric he gnashes out. Once you figure out what he's saying, there's an appreciation for the unashamed declarations of God's might and man's awe of Him. Musically brutal, lyrically worshipful, and fleeting in length- The Chariot is back basically doing what they do best.

- Review date: 4/17/07, written by David Goodman



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. Artist Info: Discography
. Record Label: Solid State Records
. Album length: 10 tracks: 29 minutes, 36 seconds
. Street Date: April 3, 2007
. Buy It: Amazon.com

  1. Back To Back
  2. They Faced Each Other
  3. They Drew Their Swords
  4. And Shot Each Other
  5. The Deaf Policeman
  6. Heard This Noise
  7. Then Came To Kill
  8. The Two Dead Boys
  9. Forgive Me Nashville
  10. The Trumpet
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