14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2009
as a close friend once told me about one of our favorite bands "mewithoutYou"....
"it's like a fine wine, a great number of people won't be into it, but upon repeated listening, or even a glimpse of motivation towards this kind of music, and you'll be hooked - you'll soon know how brilliant it really is..."
i believe this kind of goes towards the chariot's 3rd full-length album, titled; "wars & rumors of wars".
first off, if you're new to the chariot, or have never heard of them, heed the warning anyone will give you;
1. start from the beginning, and end in the end. their albums go in order, and it's important to listen to that. if you must, start with luti-kriss, work your way through "bless the martyr..." by norma jean, and finally into the cha-cha-cha-chaaariot's first debt "Everything Is Alive, Everything Is Breathing Nothing Is Dead and Nothing Is Bleeding"
2. listen to any of their music twice in a row. it's almost necessary. you know what i thought of their debut? i hated it. it was noisy, WAY too much feedback, and had horrible production. and as another reviewer once said about the chariot... one day you'll have your playlist going, and some random song by them will pop up, and you'll ask yourself "who is this, and where can i find more?!" - only to find that they were that band you used to hate...
i've done this several times, but that was several years ago. 2004 to be exact. and upon hearing a few songs from norma jean's "bless the martyr..." i started to see similarities in the music, however a much more chaotic grain-of-salt involved with the debut by the chariot.
i may be rambling here, but i think i have discovered a point.
the chariot is the most visceral of music you will ever come by. dare i say they're more visceral than slipknot? of course, this raises all sorts of arguments like "slipknot sucks!" "you're a hater!" but that is not the point of the matter. anyone who's heard slipknot or seen them live, know that they never lack on performance. and like any rock or metal band, they strive to perform well, and perform for their fans [hopefully].
the chariot is like surviving a hurricane - while on the toilet - just to find out their is a tornado in the middle of it.
there are so many ways to explain the insanity of their music, but you have to let it grow on you. their live performance is what lead vocalist, josh scogin, has once said that they strive for more than anything else. and seeing them live is nowhere near boring! slinging their guitars around, josh screaming in what seems like agony - but you can tell they enjoy it.
and the best part?
these dudes are the nicest gentlemen you'll see in the "rock-n-roll" business. they come from the south, and bring humbling attitudes into a music unknown to most. their lyrics are poetic in nature, humbling, and sometimes convicting. they're HOPEFUL, and that is something hard to find these days.
with this third release, we find a different course taken by the chariot, one that went a little back to the original style of recording off of their debut; recording from the start, and finishing in the end - but recording completely LIVE.
josh scogin has known to do this, especially on his first appearance with norma jean's "bless the marytr..." - it brings back the special analog feel that most vinyls & lp's give you. and lets you feel like you're breathing the music in, instead of pumping synthetic crap through your veins.
in the end, the chariot's "wars & rumors of wars" gives you the feeling of chopping wood all day; you're sweaty, your arms hurt, but you feel like you accomplished something. you actually feel like you went through the same discoveries they have sung and scream about. and i think that is a great deal of the point in the end.
their music holds nothing back, they let things go instead of tweaking them obsessively! this brings an authenticity that is very hard to find in the metal genre of music. i would even say their music is more noise/experimental than metal. but indeed, they do have that metal touch.
without further ado, i believe you should just go pick this album up. no amount of words can ever describe the full awesomeness that is the chariot. they're terrifying, amazing, and jaw-dropping!
oh and did i mention how glorious the packaging is?
they hand stamped their artwork on all 25,000 albums. in just a few nights.
when i ordered mine, it was numbered "5,725 out of 25,000" -
yup, that is exactly what it looks like;
every album, online or at best buy, or wherever you get it,
is 100% authentic, signed & handled by the artist themselves!
now, where are you going to get authenticity like that in today's industry?
go pick up the chariot's "wars & rumors of wars" today,
and grab some tylenol and a glass of lemonade.
you're going to need it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2009
Just as I start off almost all of my reviews, I would like to say that only two albums I have come across in my days have earned a straight 5 stars for me. I can't stand it when people say every other album is 5 star worthy. To be 5 stars it must be FLAWLESS. So, a 4.5 for me is a HUGE deal. Anyway, on to the review.
'Wars...' was at the number two position for my most anticipated albums slated to release this year. I was not expecting anything but quality material. And let me tell you something, this record is full of almost nothing but just that.
The album opens with my personal favorite track from the disc. That does not mean that it is the most technically proficient, innovative or unique track, it just simply means it's my favorite. 'Teach:' is such a jarring and uproarious opener. I believe someone referred to it as a "brutal waltz". I think that is as close to a perfect description as I can think of explain the song. The beginning of 'Teach:' is great, but from 1:05 on is where the money is at. Lets just put it this way...the build-up and release is ALMOST as powerful and engaging as the end of 'The Deaf Policeman', from their sophmore album, The Fiancee. Hearing Scogin yell,"I refuse to breathe the breath of the failure!" right before the release at the end is enough to give anyone chills. Quality through and through.
'Evolve.' continues the stuttering insanity that was introduced to you via 'Teach:'. This may be Scogins' shining moment as a vocalist on this album. He has not been this in-your-face since the beginning of his career. This track may also be drummer David Kennedeys' shining moment, as well. It's high-speed and sporadic, yet so amazingly controlled. 'Need:' is a short little ditty that is certainly the most fast paced, energetic and punk-influenced song on this CD. Although it is not my favorite from the album, it is still a very good song, and would be a KILLER song live, I guarantee. Also the ending statement from the song, "We...we built this on love" is pretty powerful.
'Impress' opens with just as much intensity as 'Need:' did, yet at right around :25 the mood of the song totally changes. Josh quits singing altogether and then Russell and Vokey unleash some amazing riffage reminiscent of 'The Bullet Never Lies...' from their first album. That song being one of my all time favorites from The Chariot, one would think this would be one of my favorites from the CD, right? The only problem is that right about the middle of the track, everything drops out except for one guitar plucking a couple of notes...then it continues all the way to the end. I hate complaining like that, because I know there was a reason for them doing it. Maybe a certain mood they wanted to capture. Whatever it is it's still pretty cool, I just would have preferred something different.
'Never I' is a STELLAR track in every way. One of the strongest and most solid tracks in their history as a band. It has the most straight-forward bludgening dual guitar assault they have ever crated at the end of the song. That is, right before the Andy Griffith-esque whistling comes in out of nowhere. This track also includes my favorite lyric from the entire record: 'Take rest my love, because the thief is blessed with sounding bells.'
'Giveth', much like 'Forgive Me, Nashville' from The Fiancee, is the only track that has anything remotely similar to a chorus on the entire album. 'Giveth' is such a stronger track, though. Catchy and powerful at the same time. The ending is also insanely epic and moving. To me, 'Abandon' is the most unique and experimental track on this disc. Some people may find it dull or boring, but to me it is almost like a work of art. The slowly building guitars at the beginning are somehow elegant and raw, simultaneously. Once Scogins' voice kicks in you can just feel the emotion pouring from his body. And when he screams, 'I don't know your name, but I know your face...', at the climax of the song, it may be the overall highlight of the CD.
'Daggers' is the obvious choice for the first single. Everything about it is incredibly solid. It features some of Scogins' best yelps and it just bleeds emotion the whole way through. There is no denying its catchiness, either. Everyone is in top form here. This is the track I suggest you download if you are interested in this album. It has all the best of what the Chariot does. 'Oversea' is under a minute long, and it gets right to the point. Nothing really special about it, but it does feature some pretty sweet track reversal at the end.
'Mrs. Montgomery Alabama iii' is an excellent way to end the album, if you ask me. This track includes some of my favorite bass and guitar work the Chariot has ever done. Courtesy of Mr. Kindler and Mr. Vokey. You think the song is going to end at around 3 minutes, but then it kicks right back in and never lets up until the full six minutes are up. Scogins' voice literally sounds like it is being ripped from his body. And to me, that is something special. I also love how they end the CD with nothing but feedback and drums. I really don't see any way that they could have ended it any more appropriately.
To end this, I would like to say that this CD is just as good as 'Everything Is Alive...' and 'The Fiancee'. I love both of those records and this one equally. Which is another thing I applaud about The Chariot. They have AMAZING consistency considering how many member changes they always seem to go through between albums. Every album is different, but every album is still The Chariot. These guys still have the number one spot on my list of favorite metal bands. The only record released so far this year that has topped 'Wars...' has been Silversun Pickups' 'Swoon'...and that is only by a small margin.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2009
The Cha Cha Cha Riot have returned with their third full length release: Wars and Rumors of Wars. Other reviewers have already gushed over this album so I'll point out a few things that haven't been said, including some criticism. I'll start with the positive.
First, Josh Scogin has the best voice in the business, and he's in top form on this record. He's never used any vocal enhancements in the past (that I know of, anyhow) and I don't believe he is on this record, but his lyrics are delivered gorgeously. I can't say enough about the emotion he puts into each song.
Second, the album sounds like a live performance. It's not overly sloppy or anything, but it definitely isn't perfect the way nearly all metal albums are these days. Wars is not over-produced, but mixed and mastered well enough to let it shine. The feedback and other such imperfections keep the album honest, and it's refreshing to listen to. You get 5 guys playing their instruments, not computers.
For these reasons and more (see other reviews for some), the album is certainly worth owning for anyone who is a fan of The Chariot, Norma Jean's first (and, in my opinion, best) album [Bless The Martyr, Kiss the Child], or who enjoys heavy music and is looking for something new. I got mine for $7.99.
Now the bad. Note: this is nitpicky stuff that doesn't matter much to me, but I understand that other people might want to know about it.
First, you remember me mentioning I got the album for 7.99? Well, the value isn't as good as it sounds (in terms of dollars/minute) because Wars clocks in at 30 minutes, 28 seconds. Even then, there is some material that many would consider 'filler' (although I personally think most of it adds to the overall feeling the album seems to be going for). The last track's filler, however, dissappointed me. The track is listed as 6:00 long, and I was looking forward to an epic similar to Bless the Martyr's 5th track 'Pretty Soon, I Don't Know What, But Something Is Going To Happen' or 'And Then, Came Then', off The Chariot's first album. Instead, I got another 3 minute song with 3 minutes of acceptably interesting noise at the end. It's not terrible, but I felt let down. Those 3 minutes the song lasts, however, are 3 of the best minutes on the album.
Secondly, I'm not a huge fan of the other members of The Chariot having vocal parts. They do fine and all, but compared to Scogin they don't add much to the songs. I know it has to happen to get all the lyrics in live, and I really don't mind all that much, I'm just pointing it out.
In short, it's a solid album with moments of brilliance. I'm thrilled with the release and believe that most metal fans would not regret adding it to their collection.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2009
First off, as a fan of music of all genres, Norma Jean has always been one of my favorite bands but when I heard back in 2003 that Josh Scogin, former singer for NJ, was forming his own band titled The Chariot straight out of Douglasville,GA.....my curiosity was peaked.
After Norma Jean went on, still making ridiculously good albums that were more refined and better produced than their debut fan-favorite Bless The Martyr,Kiss The Child. The Chariot, however, carried on where Bless The Martyr left off. [I should note, that ironically, O'God The Aftermath is my favorite album by Norma Jean, even though it was NJ's first album with Cory Branden.] So The Chariot legacy began......
Well, here it is 2009,and The Chariot have 2 AMAZING full length albums and an EP that is highly regarded as the best EP ever made under their belts, so what could the band possibly do to make them even more of a formidable attribute to the heavy music scene as a whole?
They released Wars And Rumors Of Wars, a 30 minute sonic battle-axe that only lets up on for the end of "Impress." and the only breather track "Abandon". I'll first begin by getting my only concerns with The Chariot's 3rd full length out of the way, then getting why this album owns:
1. Length: As aforementioned by other reviewers, the length of this record is depressing considering The Fiance and Everything Alive still had longer songs, but you soon realize that although the songs may be shorter, they pack enough punch as most of The Chariot's 4 minute + songs. Basically, I look at each song as a surface-to-air missle, aiming to seize the target fast and immediately.
2. This is probably the stupidest reason to be only a TINY TINY bit upset but I was sort of let down by the song titles. I know it seems strange but after having such epic song titles in the past as "Dialogue With A Question Mark", the longest song title ever recorded that I'm sure Josh got a lot of fuss from Solid State about: "Someday, In The Event That Mankind...", and of course the most unique layout for an album's song titles ever: The Fiance's Backwards Poem song titles. I suppose, like I said about the length, the shorter song titles evoke that each song has a feeling, or an emotion tied to it that maybe a slew of poetic words couldn't justify. *shrugs* Josh Scogin is a genius either way....
Now, for the good stuff.....
1. "Teach:"- This must have been an obvious choice for an album opener.
If music could make you feel like you've been drop kicked in the chest
, well then I think Teach: achieves just that. The guitar riffs on
this track sound as if Converge and Nirvana got eloped.
Plus, The Chariot demonstrate something that I've always liked about
them: their use of ear-splitting feedback. When you crank this bad boy
up in your car with the windows down, trust me.....you're BOUND to get
stares from neighboring vehicles. This track has more feedback than
anything I've ever heard, but it adds SO much more to the feel of the
2. "Evolve:" - Another in-your-face, distortion roller-coaster. Evolve
gets down to business from the get go. The whole band seems to be
beating their instruments to a pulp while Scogin screams until his
lungs no longer contract. A solid tune overall.
3. "Need:" - Need: reminds me of that sensation you get when your foot
falls asleep....it's not deathly painful, but that prickly feeling
just leaves you totally aware that it's there. The same thing can be
said about both guitars on this track: their presence refuses to go
unnoticed. From driving rhythms to dissonant chords that peel wigs,
this is a free-for all for guitarists Rusty & Dan Vokey. Mr. Kennedy
sounds like he's going to to be putting his drum head endorsement deal
to good use after playing this song a few times live.
4. "Impress:" - Probably one of the stranger tracks on Wars, but it still
packs a punch. The refrain towards the end of two solid notes being
picked slooooowly over and over again is very eerie and jarring. Yet,
The Chariot appropriately put it before the epic monster "Never I" so
it's almost a warning for what's about to come.
5. "Need I" - Most definitely one of my favorites, Need I stands as make
or break track off of Wars And Rumors Of Wars. Dizzying guitar work
and lightning fast tom-work provided on the drums make this a lethal
part of The Chariot's set list now. The lyrics to this song own as
6. "Giveth" - Another favorite of mine, this track contains some awesome
back up vocals from the other members of the band. It almost has a
retro punk feel with the way the guitar rhythm moves through the song
with tons of screaming accompanying it provided from the other
members of the band. The "chorus" is surprisingly catchy.
7. "Abandon." - A huge stand out, but upon a few listens...you'll see
why it was added. Nothing but a few chords resonating from a clean
guitar over and over again then Josh Scogin's legendary vocals scream
"Is This A Blessing Or A Curse!?!?!" making your hair stand on end.
The lyrics are also what make this track a stand out. A song derived
on faith and our struggle with it's placement in our lives.
8. "Daggers" - If only all singles were like this one. Daggers is almost
cinematic in the way the music and lyrics coagulate. From the
furiously opening to the slow doom ridden ending, Daggers is another
song that ties the record together. With the epic line of "War. It's
only skin deep." , you realize that Josh could never be more right:
why do we, as mortal human beings, want to divide and conquer when our
fragile lives are so short anyways? This track amplifies a solidified
9. "Oversea" - Another strange tune, it starts out with an old Christian
gospel song that sounds as if its ripped straight from an old vinyl
record and it continues to weave into The Chariot's beast like music.
Shortest track on the album but fun to listen to over and over again.
10. "Mrs. Montgomery Alabama iii." - The perfect song for curtains close.
Starting off with a comedic stance, involving one of The Chariot's
members singing terribly then it launches into a group of major piano triads, almost setting you up for some type of ballad, and then the
surprise factor attacks you as the Chariot embellish a truly brutal
track. The guitar rhythms in this song will devastate buildings.
Josh's lyrics also shine brightly here with his battle cry of "Long
Live The Ghost, Long Live The King".
Wars and Rumors of Wars is quite frankly a solid album despite its length. Its worth picking up for the following reason:
-The guitar work is a bit more mature than on The Fiance (i.e. less breakdowns.....which here, it definitely fits)
-The return to the raw,recording really aids in the overall feel of the album.
-Seriously, I know other reviewers have said it, but this is Josh Scogin's finest hour. Literally, it sounds like ole' Josh from NJ when he was skinnier and looked like he had seizures on stage at every show. Every track he gives it his all, making you wonder if he wasn't engulfed in flames in the recording booth. His emotion is conveyed through every word and exasperated sigh. I mean this is the guy that "err hem"'s on Memphis Will Be Laid To Waste!!!
Pick it up. Drink some Iced Tea. Headbang to some good ole' rock and roll. Get lost in the feedback.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2009
The Chariot is in full swing with their latest "Wars and Rumors of Wars." Two listens and I'm already inspired by their returning passion, intensity and sheer decibel level.
"The Fiancee" was a terrific album, and so the bar was set VERY high for this one... Thankfully this album not only matches "The Fiancee" but EXCEEDS it in many ways. I haven't heard Scogin this good since "BTMKTC" by Norma Jean.
A MUST for fans of hardcore rock.
on November 28, 2012
The Chariot's third proper record is easily the best Christian metal album this reviewer has heard since Fear Before The March Of Flames' "Art Damage" came out in 2004 (or at least since Zao's 2006 effort, "Fear Is What Keeps Us Here"). Drawing influence mostly from The Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, Botch, and Daughters, 2009's "Wars And Rumors Of Wars" is mostly a full-on math/noisecore album. It is full of really downtuned and dirty-sounding guitars and bass, sloppy, brutal drumming, crushing, pummeling rhythms, hardcore punk breakdowns, and amelodic screams are the name of the game, here. And yes, the fact may be easy to overlook, but The Chariot are a Christian band -- so their lyrics are usually -- however loosely -- based around faith.
Sure, there are a few moments of restraint. "Teach," for example, utilizes pockets of ominous guitar feedback in its intro and outro to excellent effect. (Sandwiched between these pockets, however is an ear-pinning noisecore assault with blasting drums, bullying guitars, and shredded-throat hardcore screams.) Later on, the "Catch 33"-era Meshuggah-esque melodic strings in "Need" also do well at providing some melody to offset the tune's brutality; and the acoustic/unplugged guitar intro to "Giveth" evokes "You Fail Me"-era Converge.
But those three small-ish moments aside, "Wars" is mostly made-up of moments of bludgeoning, highly dissonant and technical brutality. Cuts like "Evolve" (and, later on, the seventh track, "Abandon") are both thunderous numbers with grindcore worthy vocals and really dexterous drum fills, including smart, grinding, stop-start blast beats. And "Impress" is another frantic and frenzied full-on grindcore blast fueled by pounding, cracking skins. And this aural attack, which also features inventive, chunky, angular riffs, is peppered with some catchy and well-placed pinch harmonics. "Never 1," which sounds like a "Calculating Infinity"-era TDEP-esque b-side, is another standout, as is the record's 44-second long interlude ("Oversea"), and the closing "Miss Montgomery Alabama," which plays more like a groovy and straightforward metalcore number than anything else.
So I have already established how heavy the record is, but for those who have trouble reading in between the lines, let it be known that "Wars And Rumors Of Wars" is also a high-quality piece of work. Consistently very inventive, abrasive, memorable, and most importantly enjoyable, "Wars" is a very solid record for those who like their hard/metalcore intelligent and challenging.
on December 31, 2009
Every time I put this album on it ends up playing all the way through at least twice. This is a brilliant piece of work, and I'll tell you (in as many ways I've discovered yet) why.
1. it's written as an album, and not a collection of songs. The Chariot love to be as brutal and raw as they can be, always throwing the sucker-punch with tempo/time/key/instrumentation/genre changes, but they realized, as many hardcore bands out there have not, the the "brutality index" of a song is compared to what you just heard. EVERY song on this album is raucous and chaotic, but the genius is, that they put weird little sound clips or softened/random endings before almost every song. if this was just an album of just the music, it wouldn't be as good; but since there are quiet sections, your ear can get used to what seems like normal again, before they jump back in at full volume. it keeps you on your toes, and it makes this album hold your attention.
2. the production is impeccable. Matt Goldman is my hero. I would move to frigging Georgia to intern with him. The drum sound on this album is perfect. all of the elements sound like real drums, (which can be a problem is hardcore and metal) they just sound ENORMOUS. the snare is like a tiny explosion every time it's hit, the kick is like a tiny explosion under water every time it's hit, and it's just beautiful. the guitars and the bass meld together beautifully to become a wall of distortion towering over you like a tsunami. Josh's vocals are in your face, clear, and violently brutal the entire time. gorgeous. one of my favorite hardcore albums ever. period.
and sorry for the overly colorful language, I get carried away.
on June 4, 2009
Man, this is another good record by the Chariot. They really need a live DVD, because their live show is half the fun, but this is a seriously awesome band. I don't listen to a whole lot of heavy music but the Chariot is one of the bands that I really dig. Someone commented on the short songs being a let down, but for me that's one of the selling points. They don't beat a good idea into the ground. Also, the producer Matt Goldman, is the man and there are all sorts of little audio tricks he's hidden in this record for you to discover. Buy this record so they can afford to keep making more.
on June 12, 2009
I don't think these guys follow in any other band's footsteps. This band The Chariot sounds very tough-minded. this band is definitely a keeper. they made 25,000 copies of this album, and the one I recieved is no.16,300. these guys have a bright future. a music label once was talking about the potential demise of metalcore, but with bands such as The Chariot, I think it is going to be around for a long time. these guys also have the most original breakdowns around. this being a limited edition of 25,000, is a must buy. get this before it sells out.
on June 6, 2009
not much is really needed to be said, if you liked the fiancee, this is a step in the current direction but harder and more raw with a slightly higher progression of lyrical genius, love to Josh Scogin, and the musicians of the chariots whose names i haven't memorized, you guys are awesome too for creating such amazing original stuff.