Sound: In "The Fiancee," The Chariot came forward with a sound they made into their own. "Wars and Rumors of Wars" has established them where I think they should be and where they are the most comfortable and the most impressive. Wars and Rumors of Wars came from Matthew 24:6, "You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars..." This is said to be the internal conflict in humans and not the literal war. This album is a very good rendition of their live performance, all though at times it seems some of the feedback and noise is the most significant through their live shows rather than a studio album. The first take on this album is a rush, and it takes a few listens to catch every detail and every careful notch of cleverly inputted licks and riffs.
The guitar work is heavier and a bit louder than their previous albums, and the percussion very well accompanies this bigger sound. The vocals are very impressive, although they were mostly always good. And on this album, back up vocals add a great variety that is not apparent on their other album works. Some guitar work is lacking at times of noise, but maybe it was purposely done so for the emotional impact of the overall album. // 8
Lyrics: Most of the lyrics in this album come across as external problems and symbolism towards society, but are rather spiritual conflicts relating to their christian beliefs and what happens inside of everyone.
In the first track, "Teach", the line, "... And I built my father's house, I built my father's house, I built my father's house, and I built my father's house, but I refuse to breathe the breath of the failure," Goes straight with the music and is responsively very powerful.
In the track "Evolve", it's pretty ironic how the sung lines of "Stay calm, stay calm, stay calm.." are doubled up on the vocal track and are strong and loud and chaotic along with the repeated plunder of a riff.
In "Giveth", the lines "So settle down, we ain't alone anymore. We ain't afraid. We cannot be alone anymore," are taken as meaning you should realize there is always something bigger than you, and through everything you have your beliefs right there with you.
Most importantly in "Daggers", the part of, "Make your spine just like your pride and if you find a heart I hope it bleeds grace," this is talking to all those falsely tilt their heads in an obscure notion to show others they may be confident on the outside but throughout themselves they are cold and insecure, and for a change they must look inside and find an inner meaning, and may it be good.
The vocalist's skills have improved and are just as good or better live, and quite a share of the lines are from the back up vocals you hear the length of the album. Well done. // 9
Overall Impression: The Chariot have made their name known and have perfected their performance and their sound and their image. This album I feel is special because the first 25,000 copies were hand printed by the band. I myself purchased a copy and on the inside it is handwritten what number it was along with the signature of which member of the band printed the album art. Needless to say, I will be very angry if this got jacked. But, I would definitely head right back to the store and get another copy.
What I love about this album is the intensity of the feel of the album. What I hate about this album is the SOME of the seemingly endless feedback at the end of some of the songs, I think it should be strictly for live shows. "Giveth" "Teach" "Evolve" and "Daggers" are highlights of this album and each of them are just about five times better live. Just the interaction of the band adds to the complexity of how amazing their sound actually is.
In closing, The Chariot is a band with great distinctive sound and energy to them, that is amplified so much more in their live shows. Make it a point to make it out to one of their shows. // 10