REVIEW: Chains – ‘The Sorrow, The Sadness’ EP

chains

Artist: Chains
Album: The Sorrow, The Sadness EP
Label: Calaveras Records
Genre: Metal, Hardcore

Let’s be honest: you miss Set Your Goals. I miss the band as well, for the sole fact that they are the pop-punk outfit that gave the genre an aggressive edge. This Will Be The Death Of Us is one of my favorite anthem-riddled, pop-punk releases, for it’s the prime example of the passionate personality and delivery inherent to the genre. However, following 2011’s Burning At Both Ends, the band went into a quiet state, seemingly without any intent of letting the music world know what was happening behind closed doors.

This past December, vocalist Matt Wilson finally informed fans of the status of Set Your Goals and their uncertainty of when the band would get back together. Ultimately, Wilson decided to create Chains, a new project that so far appears to be a large departure from the sound of SYG we all learned to embrace. Wilson has stated that the music he has written in the past on his own was either too dark or heavy for SYG so he felt it was a good time to share his creations under a new banner. This is where The Sorrow, The Sadness comes in. Filled with dark lyricism and head-banging progressions, the EP introduces the way the band utilizes those themes and the heaviness that Wilson had kept in his back pocket.

The six-piece — consisting of Wilson, Manuel Peralez and Travis Pacheco on guitars, Anthony Pizzarelli on bass, Thomas Megleby on keyboards, and renowned drummer Jarrod Alexander (Angels & Airwaves, Paramore) — drives the nail right into the coffin with their hardcore-influenced metal melodies that rise throughout the 15-minute effort. The thing that struck me the most were the different vocal deliveries that were both impressive and unexpected. In the track “Ghost,” Wilson’s distinguished vocals and death metal-esque backing screams pour in and out of each other to show pure versatility, while in “Void,” you hear Wilson give a glimpse of his excellent scream which is heard for the first time. My favorite song on the EP, “Severed,” kicks the flow of the album up another notch as its relentless nature really shines above the rest of the release. Closing out the EP is “Cages,” which gives off an ostensibly demonic vibe with an organ progression and caps off an introductory release that displays Chains’ promise and staying power.

The Sorrow, The Sadness is an excellent example of the fact that you need to keep the creative juices flowing and to sometimes just get out of your comfort zone. All members of the band, especially Wilson and Alexander, really took their time to ensure that this release solidifies them as an outfit that will catch attention and continue on. Like I stated before, I miss Set Your Goals, but right now, I am quite content with what Chains is made of and intrigued for what they have in store for the future.

SCORE: 8.5/10
Review written by Ryan Kappy

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