Sound — 9
If I could describe this new album from Chiodos in two words, they would be brutally beautiful. Simply put, that is exactly what this album is. For those who don't know who Chiodos are, they are a post-hardcore band from Michigan. Two years ago, they released their Equal Vision Records debut, All's Well That Ends Well. The album exploded onto the scene as people heard the sound of the band, combining high pitched vocals, heavy screams, and thrashing guitars. The band then headed back to the studio this year to record Bone Palace Ballet.
The album combines the band's last album's heaviness and creativity with more piano and orchestral work. The album begins with Is It Progression If a Cannibal Uses a Fork? The song starts with a light guitar riff and Craigery Owen's almost silent vocals. The song slowly picks up volume to include guitars playing along with violins. The song goes everywhere from super light to super heavy, eventually building to a moshing extravaganza. The song also includes the neat addition of almost church-like chanting in the background for the chorus.
The next song, Lexington. (Joey Pea-Pot with a Monkey Face), starts with violins, and piano and slowly adds drums to the mix. While the song may seem like a combination of My Chemical Romance and Panic! At The Disco, it definitely tops what those bands try to achieve. The song has a nice piano background to whole song that accompanies Owen's vocals.
Two more songs that I would like to point out (which are entirely opposite of each other) are I Didn't Say I Was Powerful, I Said I Was a Wizard and The Undertaker's Thirst for Revenge Is Unquenchable (The Final Battle). I Didn't Say... is the middle of the album, and it almost seems like a break from everything that the album stands for. It combines the vocals of Owen with just a piano. This song is definitely a break from the madness that this album is, but it is so well done, that you almost have to wonder what the band would sound like as just a piano/vocal group. The Undertaker's Thirst... is simply what I said in the beginning, brutally beautiful. The song starts with thrashing guitars and heavy screaming. In fact, that is almost all the song is, with only a few actual vocal parts. The vocal parts even sometimes combine the piano in for such a heavy song. The song actually ends with another piano/vocal part from Owen. The song is a perfect ending to an album that is so amazing.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics of this album seem to be about a girl. Some of the lyrics include maybe you're the one that's overrated and you won't be leaving my arms ever, I promise you that, even if you want me to let go honey. The lyrics are simple and easy to understand. The best lyric used in the entire album was originally said by Shakespeare, All the world's a stage. While this quote has been used countless times, I find it best when bands use it due to the fact that they pretty much make a living on a stage. The lyric it is used in is And all the world's a stage, I existed because I dreamed and well, I dream no more, I've given up on the entire human race. The album ends as words are spoken almost silently. Those words are: Empty is the sky before the sun comes up/Empty is the eyes of animals in cages/Empty are the faces of women in mourning/When everything has been taking from them/Me? Don't ask me about empty. While the lyrics seem simple, they have such a creative tone for the general feelings that this album portrays.
Overall Impression — 9
Listening to this album, I believe that Chiodos has achieved what My Chemical Romance did with The Black Parade, only better. They basically steered just off the track of their debut, but yet they were still on the track they were. This album is truly worth at least a few listens. Everything about it is so well done. Fans of the previous works of Chiodos have something new to get used to, but you will love it. Anyone who loves anything from hardcore to a bit of classical will love this album. As I said, this album is brutally beautiful. It combines the brutal guitars and screaming that the band had from their last album with a beautiful piano and orchestral sound to create something entirely new for fans to listen to and enjoy.