The Chariot – Wars and Rumors of Wars

Artist: The Chariotchariot_warsacd9-18d5d
Album: Wars and Rumors of Wars
Genre: Hardcore
Label: Solid State
I know, especially when talking about a band with a faith based origin, that it’s bad to make idols. However, I would attend the church of Josh Scogin [vocalist of The Chariot]. In fact, I think we all kind of attend his services each time he’s on a record. So, if that’s the case, allow me to welcome you to the First United Church of The Chariot as they present their latest offering, Wars and Rumors of Wars.

Kicking off their third full length and fourth actual release, “Teach,” shows us that The Chariot is still heavy as ever. Seemingly every instrument plays on each downbeat at least for a short period throughout the track. Also, this first track gives us our first memorable line of the record: “I refuse to breathe the breath of the failure.” Keeping the pace on high, “Evolve,” showcases a bit more of a variable structure as the mid section seems to have some actual guitar riffing and not just chugs which shows us even the heaviest acts still have room to grow. “Need,” then gives us an awkward instrumental section before bringing the heaviest closer this band’s had in a bit and, “Never I,” serves little more than to chug and end, like many songs on the record, with the repetition of a seemingly meaningless phrase or word.

As we move into the back chunk of the record, energy remains ultra high. Scogin’s voice sores from the gutter to the sky on, “Giveth,” while “Abandon” takes a much more subtle approach to beginning a track. Hollow discordant tones lead us in to a very mellow song that seems to not really fit with much of the band’s prior material. Picture a church collapsing at a slow pace while the priest screams for mercy and you have this track…if that makes sense to anyone, but me. “Daggers,” the track we’ve all heard beforehand, is the most approachable on the album by a mile. It starts with punk like drive and then breaks down slowly into an epic peice of heavy art. “Make your spine like your pride and if you find a heart, I hope it bleeds grace,” along with many other lines make this one for the memory banks. The evolution in writing that Scogin has taken is most apparent here and his often confusing lines seem to have a solid sense of flow and purpose. Following this with the brutally fast, “Oversea,” we finally, gasping for breath, arrive at the closer, “Mrs. Montgomery Alabama III.” the track rattles on for six scorching minutes and has such golden lyrics as, “love is better made than kept.” It positions the band in a new light by showing their ability to create a longer piece of musical mayhem than ever before seen. As the last notes rattle off, the music dies and we all exit the pews with excitement for our next “service.”

The Chariot have never ceased to impress me. As someone who no longer regularly attends church, but tends to keep faith in his life, this is my Church. Josh Scogin is the Pastor and each chugs and crunch are the hymns by which we praise. Outside of the religious aspect, it’s simply the heaviest yet most elegantly designed chaos on record. Wars and Rumors of Wars destroys anything in this genre I’ve heard all year and sets the bar really high for anything to come.

James Shotwell
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