The Chariot – Wars and Rumors of Wars
Release Date: May 5, 2009
Record Label: Solid State
The Chariot never claimed they were going to reinvent the wheel. In fact, the Josh Scogin-led project has just always wanted to play chaotic music that consistently bashes your skull in. And all their releases have done just that. So you shouldn’t be expecting anything different from the band’s third full length, Wars and Rumors of Wars. Really, why would you want them to be any different?
Wars and Rumors of Wars is a roided up version of 2007’s The Fiancee. A lot of Wars flows in the same vein as its predecessor, but it features better structure, more complexities, and improved instrumentation. The band doesn’t sound like a bunch of cavemen on their instruments anymore. Wars is also beefed up by Scogin’s always reliable maniacal growl. First blood is drawn on “Teach:,” as guitar chords rise and fall while Scogin reveals, “Victory is such a lonely word!” The first track sets the example that Wars won’t sound like one long song.
The Chariot cooks up a little punk riot with “Need:,” while the weight of “Impress.” will straight up crush you. “Never I” bounces between sped-up chords and drums and pulverizing breakdowns, including one of the heaviest outros the band has ever done. “Giveth” sludges along with Scogin screaming his guts out, and “Daggers” provides some fire (“War is only skin deep!”). The transition from a lonely guitar strum into huge theatrics is a Chariot-staple, and it doesn’t disappoint here. Closer “Mrs. Montgomery Alabama” begins with a campy piano chord and breaks into menacing guitar parts from Bryan Taylor and Dan Vokey. Scogin spits another one-liner (“Love is easier made than kept.”) that will be a popular Facebook status in a few weeks. This track features a few different tempos and fades out with some guitar feedback and sporadic drum beats.
Wars and Rumors of Wars is the essential Chariot album as it doesn’t sound like 100% noise all the time. The improved musicianship is a huge plus, as it gives a lot of these tracks a sense of direction and purpose. While their debut album will still hold the number one spot in some fans hearts (due to nostalgic reasons), Wars is the finest Chariot album to date. There are a few snags, such as the bland “Evolve:.” Also, the fact that this album doesn’t reach any new heights for the band can be seen as a negative, but it’s an enjoyable negative. This War isn’t going to set the metalcore world on fire, but it’s chaotic, unpredictable, and overall a blast to listen to.
This one will be on my to-do list. In some ways I feel like they are a guilty pleasure for me these days, brought on by nostalgia for the first album, but they seem to always put together fun records and Josh's vocals are always top notch.
Good review, I'm so excited for this. Hahaa. I liked Evolve, so if it isn't the greatest on the album, that's fine with me! Can't wait to hear everything else, waiting til my pre-order arrives. I've liked both albums they've released, so if this one is a 'roided up' "The Fiancee, this is probably going to end up being my favorite of theirs. I love Scogin's voice too.
I don't think melody and The Chariot are two things that would go well together, I like my Chariot crazy and chaotic.
It can certainly go well together, but I can understand why some people wouldnt want it. The reason that I say it can go together is that if you take Chariot and add melody and slightly different production you basically have Norma Jean's "Bless The Martyr and Kiss the Child" which was an awesome album. Still my favorite out of anything Josh has done.
The Chariot (imo) always has been Josh taking what he liked from Norma Jean at the time he left and just making it a little less "clean-cut", cutting the melodic interludes, and upping the chaos.