Ever since the announcement of this latest single by Chronographs a few weeks back, I have been really looking forward to hearing, and reviewing it. I infrequently talk to one of the guitarists (Tom) online, so when he mentioned about 6 months/1 year ago that the band were planning a big change of sound, I quietly got rather excited. And you know what – they haven’t disappointed me one bit.
Chronographs are/were a tech metal band originally from my neck of the woods (Worcestershire), and they have always written music that amazes and rocks. As a band, they have experienced moderate success – getting a small review in Metal Hammer magazine, getting signed to Ghost Music, and playing at the UK Tech Metal Fest a couple of years ago – so deciding to change the sound that fans know them by was a RISKY move. Has it paid off? Lets see…
It’s clear that although all of the distorted guitars have disappeared somewhere into the abyss, and screaming vocals are but a distant memory, “Losing Light” still manages to be a very heavy song. The drums are loud and driving, the vocals are aggressive enough to put some people off I’m sure, and the guitars are equally as angry at times; although much more jangly now. This is still heavy rock, but it’s clear that the band wanted to break away from the traditional ‘metal’ elements that they were more well known by. I think this was a good move. They embraced the tech metal scene when it was thriving (and it did thrive for a period), doing very well in the process, but with bands like Arcane Roots rising to the surface and the whole Djent scene becoming a bit of a mockery, it feels (to me) like we have a new contender for the rock sub-genre of the year; and of course Chronographs are doing it very very well.
Even if this isn’t your kind of music, you must admit that this is seriously well written. The guitars’ stabbing chords and delicate tapping patterns intertwine beautifully, creating a deep and textured wall of sound that is both engaging, and amazing to listen. Being a drummer, this song is practically pornography for me. The rhythms are mind blowingly complicated, and the way that it ties into the song gives it a real feel of completion. It has been written intelligently, and I appreciate that in any song I listen to. The vocals, as well, are truly excellent. Even when they were a ‘metal’ band, John (the singer) managed to use melodies that allowed you to sing along in your own pathetically weak voice if you wanted to, and the chorus in this is another example of how tuneful vocals absolutely do have a place in heavy music. It’s brilliant.
You want to know the best thing about all of this? This is only the single. Having followed them (metaphorically of course) for the past few years, their music has always been varied and never ‘samey’ at all, and so I can’t wait to see what this band has to offer with their next EP/album.
Watch out for Chronographs in music magazines/blogs because you WILL be seeing them around again.