Illuminaudio review by Chiodos

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  • Released: Oct 5, 2010
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (69 votes)
Chiodos: Illuminaudio
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Sound — 9
Not much has changed for the sound of Chiodos. The biggest difference between Chiodos last album, Bone Palace Ballet, and their latest work, Illuminaudio, is the addition of the the new lead singer, Brandon Bolmer. Still present are the haunting vocal melodies, the Classical-inspired guitar solos, and the over the top, theatrical sound that Chiodos has become known for.

Lyrics — 7
The lyrics on this album range from brilliant to just plain dumb. Over all, I would say that the lyrics on this album generally fit with the dark, eerie feel of the album. Some of the lyrical concepts seem a little over-done, like a song about werewolves("Modern Wolf Hair") or zombie attacks ("Those who Slay Together Stay Together",) while some are interesting and well done like "Hey Zeus! The Dungeon" which is loosely based on The Phantom of the Opera. The vocals on this album are overall, very impressive. Brandon is technically a better singer than Craig Owens, the former lead singer. Nevertheless, the uniqueness that Owens brought to the table is gone. My biggest complaint with the vocals is the screaming. Whenever there is any screaming, heavy distortion and compression are applied to the vocals. Also, all of the screaming is dropped back in the mix. The intention of the band may have been to give the music a more commercially accessible sound. There is one line in "Modern Wolf Hair" where all the instruments stop playing and the heavy processing on the vocals can be heard clearly (about 2:25 into the track). The only screaming that is untouched by these effects is one line which can be found about halfway through "Love is a Cat from Hell" (which has to be the worst song name i've ever heard in my entire life).

Overall Impression — 8
My favorite songs on this album are "Let us Burn One" and "Those who Slay Together, Stay Together". If you have heard Chiodos before and liked the music, but not the vocals you are in luck. Long gone are Craig's purposefully, slightly off pitch vocals from "Alls well that Ends Well" and gone as is his soaring whine from "Bone Palace Ballet". If you haven't heard Chiodos before, I would recommend starting with this album. If someone ever stole this album from me, I wouldn't be too worried about it. I would be too busy laughing at the thief for leaving all of my guitars and just taking this album. Overall not a bad disk.

28 comments sorted by best / new / date

    moth3R
    Best post-hardcore album I've heard all year. Very slick production and the new vocalist is amazing.
    Gary.Blizzard
    I think the vocalist is better than the old one. The band used to be unbearable to listen to for me, now I can at least give it a listen. But I still don't really like it. Just sounds whiny. I dunno it sounds like music a preppy chick would listen to if she tried to go metal.
    Lion_Slicer
    Skwisgaar S wrote: Also, is post-hardcore seriously a different genre from metalcore?
    Chiodos isn't "metal" in the slightest; post-hardcore is more of an emo vibe. That's what it seems to me at least, and I am in no way using "emo" as a slur. If a band sounds good, I don't care what genre you file it under, music is music. But compare Chiodos and Fall of Troy with All That Remains and Trivium... very different sounds and audiences (typically). Awesome, it's still streaming on their profile! Gonna listen and we'll see what I think.
    SlyDevil13
    I've always liked their sound until Craig owens opened his mouth. He is a disgrace to our hometown. All the other guys in the band like Brad Bell were always cool ( I would randomly see him at a grocery store lol). I can actually listen to it now with the new vocalist.
    oncogeniczen
    I hate the mix and 'fake' over-produced sound on this album... The songs are good, just something about the overall mix sounds noisy to me...especially vocals. Brandon Bolmer is a really good singer and doesn't need all the effects and distortion... check out his recordings with Yesterday's Rising...
    Skwisgaar S
    krvolok wrote: The stuff I heard is somewhat less soulless than most post-hardcore but still ITFJAL.
    What, may I ask, does ITFJAL mean? Also, is post-hardcore seriously a different genre from metalcore?
    SevenYears
    if all's well that ends well and the bone palace ballet have been run endlessly on your daily playlist, do not bother with this album, you will be disapointed.. RIP Chiodos
    EpiExplorer
    Honest criticism: Some just dont take it seriously. OH WELL, I'd hardly call this groundbreaking, adding some synths doesn't make it any less.. typical.
    tyrogue
    I've never a real huge fan of Chiodos. I never raelly listened to them or gave them much thought. I saw them in May opening for BFMV and I quite enjoyed their energy. This album really just stands out for me and I'll probably pick it later.
    RunawayKaren
    I'll be honest As much as I like all's well that ends well. And can't even begin to understand why fellow Chiodos fans seem to think that album is the zenith of their career. This album did take a little getting used to, but it's not the train wreck I thought it would be. whilst It's not better than Bone palace ballet, it's easily bests the undeveloped sound of All's well. And the reviewer that said Stratovolcano Mouth is Thermacare part II (which it is)and that did it better must be high; the lyrics in Themacare were very juvenile regardless of how well Craig's delivery was.
    bakin
    oncogeniczen wrote: I hate the mix and 'fake' over-produced sound on this album... The songs are good, just something about the overall mix sounds noisy to me...especially vocals. B
    this. i hated the "production" on this album.
    hb15577
    its hard to judge with this new record its sounds pretty solid but it still blends in with the sea of other post hardcore bands I think chiodos have seen there climax
    =McS=
    Ya know, I gave it a try, but I'm sorry, you can't replace Craig. He had a signature sound and that's what made Chiodos what they are. They tried to replace him with this new guy and to me it sounds like he's trying to sound like Craig and to me it just doesn't work. Nothing beats All's Well and Bone Palace
    racman92
    I think this album is pretty cool. I dont like to compare bands when they get new singers, so i'll just go with this is a good album. A band really becomes a new band when they change singers- look at Escape the Fate, totally different band with craig. But I like both there and I like both incarnations of this band as well!
    cukd7x-a2-
    Perge wrote: his voice doesnt have the power that owens did. If it was another band i think id have been like...its ok...but without owens its RIP chiodos.
    they feel like an actual serious band now... all their stuff with owens just sounded childish to me and his voice was like nails on a chalkboard most of the time
    Unskathed
    Honestly, Craig is the reason I can't listen to Bone Palace Ballet anymore. I love that album musically, but Craig's voice is so piercing and dissonant, it's terrible. I demand a re-recording of BPB with Bolmer so that I can enjoy that album the way I should be able to!
    LightxGrenade
    Listened to it streamed on their myspace, it's good. I still like their earlier work but I don't think the new vocalist is such a serious drop off from Owens. You can still hear that patented Chiodos sound just slightly toned down, as to whether this new album has staying power like BPB remains to be seen...
    Arrived+Dparted
    I'm not as much a fan of this one as the other two albums. It's just... they really kind of lost the Chiodos experimentation and weirdness they had going on in the other two. The guitar work was MUCH more interesting in Bone Palace Ballet. Though I do like the drum work in this one.
    metal_666_man
    this nothing compared to bone palace, chiodos will never be able to re create soething as creative as bone palace. I liked craig chiodos better
    Perge
    his voice doesnt have the power that owens did. If it was another band i think id have been like...its ok...but without owens its RIP chiodos.
    Amuro Jay
    deafening wrote: ohhh, its the signer from yesterday's rising! thats why i like this album in the slightest
    Whoah, really? Yesterday's Rising is rad. I thought the new guy sounded familiar.
    The Spoon
    I don't know why some people think Brandon isn't unique sounding...I would love to hear other bands with singers like him. Anyway, I wish the guitar work wasn't so buried in the mix, but Brandon's voice is so good, I can deal with it
    deafening
    ohhh, its the signer from yesterday's rising! thats why i like this album in the slightest
    krvolok
    The stuff I heard is somewhat less soulless than most post-hardcore but still ITFJAL.
    Lion_Slicer
    Gave the whole album a couple listens...it hooked me quickly, I enjoyed each song on this album greatly and couldn't wait to hear the next one. And that eagerness was actually rewarded--each song fits with their sound but is individually distinct. I feel like each member gets their chance to shine too, I was alternately drawn to the guitar, drums, piano, etc and it meshes well. I especially like the ethereal feel many of the melodies have. The lyrics are no stupider than what metal has been doing since Black Sabbath. Overall, I'm very impressed. Actually, probably some of the best music I've heard this year. I do wish they would ditch the processing on the screaming, that's really annoying.