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It would seem that it would be hard for a band to re-group after losing their lead singer. From the outside it was a shock when front man Craig Owens was booted out of the band, especially after the success of their previous two albums ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ and ‘Bone Palace Ballet’ but from the inside it seems that it quite possible was the best thing for the band, and with this new album featuring new vocalist Brandon Bolmer (ex-Yesterdays Rising) the band is now showing the rest of the world that. After Owens left the band the success of this new album was uncertain, with Owens voice almost the defining point of the band’s sound, for some it was heard to think of the band without him but Chiodos are moving on without a second thought, also with a new drummer, Tanner Wayne (ex Underminded and Scary Kids Scarring Kids) the band shows that they are doing perfectly well without Owens. Brandon Bolmer is definitely a suitable and talented replacement so much so that it almost makes you forget that he was never in the band.
Intro track ‘illuminaudio’ gives you a small taste of what’s to come, an intro like this could make a listener do one of two things, press stop in the first 20 seconds or keep listening, i found this one made me a little curious about what may be coming around the corner, therefore a perfect set up for the beginning of the album. Then comes the heavy double kick drumming of ‘Caves’ followed by the echoed vocals of Bolmer, this song is one of the highlights of the album, and shows that Chiodos are still Chiodos and that most evidently Bolmer is very capable of pulling of the vocals. From the outset this shows that Chiodos are serious, they mean business and that they plan to blow all expectations out of the water.
Then follows a whole bunch of great songs with some highlights being ‘Love Is a Cat from Hell’, ‘Modern Wolf Hair’, ‘His Story Repeats Itself’ and ‘Hey Zues! The Dungeon’. All these songs fit perfectly well into the whole feel of this album and is well structured, they show off Bolmer’s very capable voice and outstanding screams, innovative keys, great guitar riffs and solos and new drummer Wayne never misses a beat.
Towards the end of the album you would expect from any band that they would have a couple of filler song thrown in there but in my opinion all songs are very decent and fit the bill. Second last song ‘Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together’ starts of a little bit softer then what we have already heard from the rest of the album however that doesn’t last long, the screaming and double kick drum heaviness with the softness provides us with a nice break from the overall heaviness of the rest of the album and as a result if provides a great send off, in my opinion another highlight song of the album. The closing song ’Closed Eyes Still Look Forward’’ has a similar feel to the short intro song and surprisingly is a very effective ending, its softer key and sinth filled melody provides a nice closing statement.
Although big shoes to fill Brandon Bolmer has pulled it off, and is quite clearly a suitable replacement for Owens, and what about the rest of the band? They are still Chiodos and this is still most definitely a Chiodos album with its eerie keys, heavy fast drumming, edgy riffs and Bolmer’s impressive new vocals this album is definitely an unexpected success. So much better then i had first given it credit for and it shows that Craig Owens was not the defining point of the band.
1. "Illuminaudio" 1:45
2. "Caves" 3:40
3. "Love Is a Cat from Hell" 4:16
4. "Modern Wolf Hair" 3:49
5. "Notes in Constellations" 4:22
6. "Scaremonger" 4:09
7."His Story Repeats Itself" 3:53
8. "Let Us Burn One" 3:57
9. "Hey Zeus! The Dungeon" 4:24
10. "Stratovolcano Mouth" 4:22
11. "Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together" 5:05
12. "Closed Eyes Still Look Forward" 3:28