The Chariot

Long Live

01. Evan Perks
02. The Audience
03. Calvin Makenzie
04. The City
05. Andy Sundwall
06. The Earth
07. David De La Hoz
08. The Heavens
09. Robert Rios
10. The King

[Good Fight Music | 11/22/10]

For a band that I hold in such high regard, it might seem strange that every time I hear a new album by Georgia’s own chaotic, revolving-door quintet The Chariot, I have hated it – at first. Unsung was the first record I heard by them – which is of course an EP – and I loved that, but every new release since has been met with a frown and a sigh of disappointment. For the first two months of The Fiancée‘s release I felt that a lot of the riffs on it were boring, and that the rehashing of two old songs was lazy. Suddenly it all clicked though, I realized the genius of the revamped tracks, and I now feel the album stands as a beacon for what good metalcore should be.

With The Fiancée firmly enshrined on the metaphorical pedestal as it was, I then thought that Wars and Rumors of Wars lacked enough of the immediately catchy hooks which the band has displayed so strongly in the past. Utter bullshit Chris, you dope. If I ever have any doubts, a live show will usually sort me out, which it most definitely did in this case – bringing a snare drum out into the audience and banging it right in your face will do that to you.

So given that a review is often based on a first impression, the odds weren’t looking too favourable for Long Live. But what do you know, there’s always an exception that proves the rule, and Long Live very nearly broke the cycle.

Firing up the first track, I was greeted by the slightly tinny, lo-fi Evan Perks, which is a smorgasbord of feedback, carried by Josh Scogin’s potentially prophetic refrain “disappointed, I know you are!”. My lips had already begun to tighten by this point, and I was prepared for this statement to become the truth. It probably didn’t help that this first listen was on the way to work too; tired, grumpy and surrounded by the great unwashed of London does not make for receptive listening.

So I gave it a rest for a couple of days. I re-listened to The Fiancée and Wars and Rumors of Wars, and swallowed up the various bits of news that came out that week, including the new video for the track David de la Hoz. That video turned it around for me. I really enjoyed the whole package; the concept, the visuals, the diversity of the track. The guest spot from Dan Smith of Listener is particularly awesome – the dude has a very unique style of delivery – but it’s just an great track in general.

So I returned to Long Live, and from the second listen on I was 100% more receptive. The riffs on this album aren’t particularly technical (very often), but if you think they should be, then you’re really missing the point. I won’t used the clichéd term ‘brutal’ – because I don’t believe the cap fits – but they are pretty disgustingly gnarly. This is truly ‘arms in the air like you just don’t care’ kind of stuff; The Chariot have mastered this, their own particular brand of ‘don’t-give-a-fuck-if-I-hit-the-right-notes’ discordance, and it’s wonderful.

Ultimately, the mark of a good album is whether or not if gives you an urge to play it again (and again and again if it’s truly great), and given the fact that in the past week I’ve alternated only between this, Tesseract‘s Concealing Fate EP and more recently the new album Anthropocentric by The Ocean, it should give you an idea of how good this album is. Long live The Chariot indeed.

The Chariot’s Long Live gets

4.5/5

– CG