Sound: The Georgia metalcore outfit The Chariot understand the word diversity and how much it means to the scene they got shoved into. There are the old notations circling the name Norma Jean and how Matt Goldman requested to pull the reigns on the fourth studio release, but in all honesty, Long Live represents chemistry in it's purest form. The disc is relentless in an animalistic way. "The Audience" grabs your collar with an invasion of hardcore riffage born to make ears bleed with a new found sense of intensity rarely found in similar acts who tend to headbang every five seconds despite a change or two in melody. Such an attack seems like complete bombardment, but The Chariot use the strategy to ease their way into showing skill through an alluring bass line or an inventive breakdown ("Robert Rios").
What injures Long Live is it's composition; how various tracks grasp the group's character on the live stage but stagger in delivering its full effect in a less nauseating manner. The handfuls of feedback contribute to the nature of a few songs ("Calvin Makenzie") but drown out the creativity pummeled into others ("Andy Sundwall"), making the sound a lot to choke down in one sitting. Soothing the ear in most instances is drummer David Kennedy's ability to compliment rhythms, hooks and every vocal outburst, producing a noteworthy impact that doesn't kill the lights on the vocals. To the ear, it doesn't appear significant but it shines a flashlight on the voice of the band that's constricted in the depths of chaotic metal. // 7
Lyrics: Line up the The Chariot's previous releases against a wall and it's clear the option to assassinate them isn't a terrible choice. Often overshadowed and underappreciated, vocalist Josh Scogin stands out like a gruesome scar on Long Live. The attraction is well-acquainted with as the ex-Norma Jean frontman has let free an influential pitch for years, but this time, it's refined. The same vocal scream that caused uproars across North America in 2004 holds more body to it, bursting at the seams with passion and an eye for artistic elements.
On "The City", Scogin plays the role of a political figure, breaking out into a riotous fever that cannot be chained. "They can take away one man, and they can take away his mic / But they cannot take us all," he screams during an emphasized speech before erupting into "This is a revolution,", a lyric that will only add to the mayhem of the band's live show. Scogin's evolving songwriting craft tied in with the band's room to experiment with other artists (see single "David De La Hoz") shows maturation and a daring personality that isn't afraid to take a step over the lines of the genre's boundaries. // 8
Overall Impression: 2010 has been an eventful year for hardcore acts. Many have shown growth, letting go of their adolescent history to hold hands with influences that are more raw, vicious and fearless. With groups like Bring Me The Horizon and Underoath having released highly praised discs, The Chariot slide in with an inspiring record. Long Live invites you to learn more about the band, portraying the primal side of the genre and throwing you head-first into a mosh pit of ferocity. It may not be the rich kid with the recording studio and the paid-by-mom vocal trainer, but it's a well-hidden personality that's blunt, to the point and has a dire need to claw out of the shadows. // 8
- Joshua Khan (c) 2010