The Chariot - The Fiancee
Release Date: April 3, 2007
Record Label: Solid State
It seems like every time Josh Scogin is associated with an album release, he is surrounded by new people. As the majority of you know, Scogin was the lead vocalist for a young and rising band called Norma Jean. After leaving the band in 2003, he quickly began his new and current band, called The Chariot. Along with Joshua Beiser, Keller Harbin, Taco Medina, and Jeff Carter, The Chariot released Everything Is Alive, Everything Is Breathing, Nothing Is Dead, And Nothing Is Bleeding on Solid State Records in 2004. The album received plenty of critical acclaim, and the band become well known for the rabid, if not completely crazy, live performances. But when it became time to record the follow-up, all of the band members quit, leaving Scogin as the only original member. He quickly recruited Jon Terrey and Dan Eaton to play guitar, Jake Ryan on drums, and Jon Kindler to play bass. With yet another freshly assembled cast around him, The Chariot were prepared to record The Fiancee, their latest ambush on the metalcore world.
With producer Matt Goldman behind the boards, The Fiancee sounds like a Royal Rumble stuffed into 9 tracks. The intensity and dynamics are still there from the previous album, just bigger. And Scogin’s vocals are better than ever. His voice is the commander of the album, and he completely dominates.
“Back To Back” begins the album loudly with screeches and screams leading into a shotgun serenade of guitars. There is not one dull moment in this track. “They Faced Together” aggressively pulls you in, while “They Drew Their Swords” (if you are thinking right now that the song titles together spell out a little story, well then you’re right, as the song titles are drawn from a children’s riddle) is very reminiscent of Every Time I Die. “And Shot Each Other” is a revised version of “Elvish Presley,” which was released as a rough demo on the band's Myspace previously, and features a choir closing out the track.
The chaos continues with “The Deaf Policeman” and “Heard This Noise,” while the gem of the album, “Then Came To Kill,” follows. Paramore front lady Hayley Williams begins the song with a few softly spoken words under some tuning guitars. The track is very menacing, with some parts loosely reminding me of The Dillinger Escape Plan. Yet the highlight comes towards the middle of the track when Williams hits the high notes behind Scogin’s authoritative voice. Also featuring strings, the track is both epic and powerful.
The album closes with two fine tracks, “Forgive Me Nashville,” a pulverizing beauty that switches up the vibe and pace repeatedly. The track incorporates a little harmonica towards the end too. It leads into the final track, known as “The Trumpet,” which is basically a church choir singing an old hymnal to their heart’s content. A fantastic closer, it’ll leave a smile on your face.
The main selling point of this album for me is how Josh Scogin takes it over, vocally and lyrically, and proving himself to one of the better frontman in the metalcore scene. Being the only original member left, he had to step up his game and he does, turning in his finest vocal performance yet. Musically, it’s as if no one ever left, as the same passion and intensity is evident on all 9 tracks. If you enjoyed their last release, or are a fan of Every Time I Die or old Norma Jean, you won’t want to leave The Fiancee standing at the altar, as it's one of the best albums Solid State has released in the past few years.
anyways, great review (*thinking, 3rd paragraph, in parenthesis--only one i caught in quick-read haha). as little as i care for the entire hardcore/metalcore/whatever-genres in general, i'm intrigued to hear this because of all the hype i've been hearing from my friends and people on this site.
Josh scogin's voice is what really shines on this album. You nailed it drew.
Yep. Personally, I don't care who plays around Scogin, because he is always going to be the driving force behind any band he is a part of. While the new members probably affect the live show (for better or worse, I don't know yet, I'll be seeing em live in a week), that doesn't matter on this album.