Resolution is one of this year’s most generous gifts to extreme and experimental metal, such the quality and stature of the debut album from Irish metallers Chosen. The release is sensational, a primal predator of scintillating imagination and exhaustingly pleasing invention. Having missed out on their earlier EPs, this is an introduction to the site which has left us open mouthed in awe and drooling in passion at the immense violation of extreme excellence.
Cast as for fans of the likes of Nevermore, Gojira, Cynic, and Death, the album shows the band pulls far beyond limitations with their sound and surely anyone with an adventure for stylish and senses stretching hunger in their music will find a feast with Resolution. Formed in 2005 by Paul Shields (vocals/guitars) and David McCann (drums/percussion) as teenagers, Chosen crafted a strong fanbase for their uniquely sculpted and intrusive sound with the metal community in their homeland. Releasing a number of independent and well-received demos as well as acclaimed live shows around Ireland, the band then went through a number of line-ups changes. In 2008 the founding pair relocated to Vancouver for a successful year which included a Canada-wide tour, as well as playing a unique tribute gig to the late Chuck Schuldiner, before returning home in 2009 to record their debut album. On their return the band was reduced to just the pair as members quit which led to the project taking an undefined hiatus.
Shields and McCann eventually came together to move forward by pushing on with the recording of the album and entered the studio with producer Alwyn Walker to lay down the frame for the release whilst also looking for other musicians to bring in. Though successful on both counts the band was reduced to just the pair again, so the decision was made to complete the album just by themselves with Walker, Shields taking over vocal and bass duties too. From that journey what has emerged is an album which explores and ignites the senses and imagination for a furnace of blistering and uncompromising invention, a release which is like a sonic puppeteer leading thoughts and passions on a collision of riveting ingenuity, technical mastery, and unbridled confrontation.
The release opens on a jungle of rhythms from McCann, their lure irresistible as the guitar of Shields offers a veil of mystique to the start of Engines Of Belief. It is mere breaths lengths of time before the track ravages the ear with tumultuous rhythms and equally demanding riffs whilst further guitar manipulation skirts the senses and twists their thoughts with increasingly devilish designs. The harsh guttural squalls ride the intensity with gusto and venom whilst the clean vocals support their weight with magnetism as potent as the invention now rife within the fury of a track. It is a staggering start which claws at and gnaws upon the synapses with unexpected brilliance, a colossal fire of enterprise brought through greedy brutality.
Could the release from such a start prevent an antic-climax steeping forward next was the first thought but Defective Prospection and The Narcissism Epidemic both took no time in making the wonderment moot such their oppressive and inventive confrontations. Certainly the first of the pair does not find the same plateau of brilliance as its predecessor but still delivers an expanse of provocative investigation whilst the second song from its delicious acoustic lined welcome and emotive ambience steps into a maelstrom of ferocious inventive charges and a scintillating merger of melodic beauty and carnal savagery. It is a brilliant track rivalling the starter and again sending creative shock waves across thoughts and sparking thick ardour for it and the album.
The outstanding Diminishment with its mesmeric melodic peace veined by raptorial rhythmic persistence and bestial admonishment of the senses exchanging and entwining their pure hearts, and the equally thrilling Instinct with its Meshuggah spiced rugged textures and rhythmic spite, both sear new heights upon passions and the release whilst Asch’s Paradigm is a song which initially inspires a bedlam bred sinister air before evolving into a tempest of corrosive beauty and seductive severity. The second of the three is a psyche twisted progressive intrigue with imagination to its cryptic fascination and a destructive onslaught vocally and musically unleashed whilst Asch’s Paradigm is a malevolent tight wrap of blood boiling intensity persuaded to share its time with melodic elegance and wanton temptation.
The closing pair of Metaphysical Contradiction and The Departure Lounge seals the branding deal upon the heart with in the case of the first a conflict of balance disrupting sonic dissidence and the closer through an irresistible initial death metal ravishing with djent punctuation moving on to open up arms of melodic acidity and warmth. As it began and admittedly continued through every moment, Resolution ends on the loftiest pinnacles. The album is pure ingenuity and raging inventive passion to inspire the same potency in the reactions and emotions of the listener. Chosen is a tsunami waiting to happen for European metal and their album not only one of the very best this year but of the past decade, and there is no reason to miss out either as the self-released album is available as a Name your own Price download and also in a Deluxe Special Edition or a Collector’s Edition CD.
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