Remember back in the day when you were a hardcore kid? Remember how much you loved every "fresh" new hardcore/metalcore/whateverthehellcore band to hit the scene even though they sounded like every other band of their genre? I do, as embarrassing as it is to admit. Now, there are very few bands that I listened to back then that I can even stand to jam to now. Maybe there's the occasional reminiscing, but the moment doesn't last very long. But, there is one band that has kept a special place in my heart as something more than a reminder of those noisy days of old. That band is The Chariot.
The special thing about this Atlanta, Georgia band is that they do what they do so well, and they just keep getting better at it. And what they do is produce music that can only be described as controlled chaos. But, it's the most chaotic, most controlled chaos you'll ever hear. Their songs aren't the half-screaming-half-singing-pop-songs that are aimed to be accessible to people who might not like metal or hardcore. They are HEAVY and LOUD and EPIC. Not everyone's cup of tea, but The Chariot aren't interested in being accessible. The Chariot are interested in pushing heavy music to its very limits while still writing good songs. And they not only accomplish this, but they make really good albums as well.
Starting with their 2007 album The Fiancée, The Chariot showed they were capable of making a solid hardcore album, that is worth listening to from beginning to end (so very rare). That album had everything from a song sampling a hymn sung by Sacred Harp Singers to guest vocals by Haley Williams of Paramore (!?). Their 2009 album Wars and Rumors of Wars was even better with much stronger production values and some really killer songs. And just a couple of months ago they released their best, fiercest and most ambitious work yet, the stunning Long Live. This album deserved some serious end of the year buzz in 2010, and it probably would've got some if it had come out earlier in the year.
The Chariot is doing what so many of those shitty metalcore bands I used to listen to needed to do to keep the interest of their ex-fans who developed more sophisticated ears. Experiment, be ambitious, and write songs that make people's jaws drop.
They are also one of the best live acts currently performing. I've had fire breathed over my head and witnessed the bassist jump 30 feet from the ceiling to the floor of the venue. Check out this video for Wars and Rumors of Wars track "Teach:" for footage of the insanity:
By Dan McAndrew