The Chariot – The Fiancée
Record Label: Solid State Records
Release Date: April 3rd, 2007
The Chariot is always one of those bands that I’ve really wanted to listen to, but never did. I kept seeing a copy of 2007’s The Fiancée at my local FYE for around $4, and after awhile of just merely thinking about getting it, I finally decided to. Well, another reason I decided to check this record out was also because Jason Butler (frontman of Letlive) spoke about them in a couple of interviews I’ve seen recently, so I thought now would be a good time as any to finally give them a listen. It’s safe to say that I’m rather impressed with this album. It’s nothing extraordinary, but it’s a very entertaining and fascinating record. The Fiancée is one of those records that’s in your face, but never too obnoxious or annoying about itself. It can be rather off putting, because it’s ultimately nothing I’ve ever heard before. One word to describe this record would be “odd,” because that’s exactly what it is – it’s strange, but that’s why it’s so fascinating. It’s different, but in a good way. It’s also around half an hour, which is a length on the shorter side of a record. Thankfully, though, it does its job at being memorable within those 30 minutes.
The record starts off with “Back to Back,” and before I get into the record further, a really interesting tidbit about this album is that the first eight song titles make a really twisted poem. “Back to back (track one), they faced each other (track two). They drew their swords (track three), and shot each other (track four). The deaf policemen (track five) heard this noise (track six) then came to kill (track seven) the two dead boys (track eight).” It’s kind of creepy, and it doesn’t have an influence on the record, even though the titles do come together to make that poem. Back to the record, however, and first song “Back to Back” is only around a minute and a half, but it’s a monster of a track. Immediately, vocalist Josh Scogin’s scream fills your, the listener’s, speakers, and a very unorthodox yet heavy guitar riff from guitarists Jon Terry and Dan Eaton play alongside. Both Terry and Eaton both help to provide very interesting tones and moods throughout the record, most of which being dark and melancholy. Scogin also has one hell of a scream, nor does he let up whatsoever throughout the record. He does take a few breaks here and there, but overall, he’s a great vocalist. He almost reminds me of Spencer Chamberlain of Underoath, in the way his scream sounds, as well as just his overall delivery.
Right when the record starts, something worth noting is how chaotic and frantic it is. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s quite unconventional. There’s no formula to this album, which is what makes it so crazy. Despite being a good thing, it does make it hard for single songs to be memorable. The whole record is quite memorable, but specific songs are hard to pinpoint, except for the two longest tracks, which are fourth track “And They Shot Each Other,” and seventh track “Then Came to Kill.” The former is around four minutes, and it’s a very interesting song, because it takes a bit of a break from the aggression, by featuring what I think is a choir or something to that effect. It also features some melodic guitarwork, which is refreshing. The latter track is memorable, because it features Paramore vocalist Hayley Williams. This was when Paramore was steadily getting more popular, thanks to the track “Misery Business,” but it’s cool to see her on a metalcore band’s record, and not some pop-rock band or something. Her vocals are in the background, but they’re still audible if you’re listening closely. The rest of the other tracks, though, do have their moments, but it’s hard to distinguish the songs from one another, for the most part. They’re enjoyable, but as a whole, only the album itself is truly memorable. Regardless, though, it’s a solid metalcore record. If you’re a fan of metalcore that doesn’t heed to any formulas or clichés, this is the band for you.