Album Review: Chelsea Grin - 'Evolve (EP)'

25 June 2012 | 10:56 pm | Staff Writer
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Brutal deathcore straight outta Salt Lake.

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Chelsea Grin are perhaps a band unfairly viewed by general preconception rather than on its actual merits. They are a group easily dismissed as yet another deathcore, whatever-core band without any effort to acquaint yourself with their sound. And that is as unfortunate as it is unreasonable.

Chelsea Grin are quite brutal. No one can take that away from them. Anyone expecting watered down Asking Alexandria-type lite-metal will quickly be corrected. Five track EP 'Evolve' is crushing, confronting and menacing. But doing away with generous adjectives that don't give a clear picture of this sound, 'Evolve' is a double-kick, chug fest that has direction but not much else that would classify this as grand.

'Evolve' has structure, it has intent, the issue though is that while first track 'The Second Coming' is engaging with its dense and dynamic production, every song after that sounds exactly the same. Jumble the track list and you will be hard pressed putting the order back together. It's a decent release, but as a whole, is essentially one fantastic song re-written five separate times.

Jason Richardson (ex-Born of Osiris) on lead guitar and Jason Suecof (Trivium, The Black Dahlia Murder) on mixing duties is a big tick in Evolve's favour.

'The Second Coming' has guttural vocals, Suicide Silence-esque riffs and fast tempos. 'Lilth' is perhaps the main track and mixes it up with some clean singing in the chorus. The remaining three tracks stick with the same blueprint - down-tuned, loud…and heavy. However, the electronic, clean bits near the beginning of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' can be done away with.

The response to 'Evolve' is almost like that of a three year old kid when given a new toy. You open the gift, love it unconditionally and frequently, but after the gloss wears off there's really no reason to come back to it.

Credit where credits due, production-wise and from a delivery standpoint, Chelsea Grin presents a fierce EP. It's competent, it's deliberate and it has substance. It just needs more variation.

It's always interesting what geographic locations spawn which kind of music. Particularly when they seem to contradict. Deathcore and Salt Lake City? I guess when you have tales of Joseph Smith and supposed golden plates shoved down your throat you probably need another outlet. Chelsea Grin offer a simply brutal five track assortment of modern metal. It's very literal and quite narrow in its overall style, but its good for some momentary value. At least worth a listen.