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Plenty of modern day extreme metal frankly leaves me cold. A plethora of bands have emerged with an over reliance on blast beats and with identikit screaming vocals that do absolutely nothing for my love of passion and melody. There are always exceptions to the rule, of course, and one of the bands which adds a pretty unique flavour to this genre, in my ears at any rate, are Chosen and their debut album ‘Resolution’. I hadn’t heard of them before now but, according to their website, they were formed in Ireland in 2005, have released a number of demos as well as relocating to Canada for a year to broaden their horizons. Upon returning to the Emerald Isle, half of the band decided to depart, leaving Chosen in a state of flux. After a period of inactivity, however, the two founding members wanted to finish what they had started and pressed forward with making this album and I’m very glad they did as they have released a bit of a beast.

Chosen are now essentially a duo consisting of David McCann (drums/percussion) and Paul Shields (vocals/guitar/bass). Aided by Jackie McNally (additional vocals), Fiona Morrin (fiddle) and Paul Allen (sound fx and synths), if you are a lover of bands such as Meshuggah, Gojira, Cynic, Atheist, Death, Fear Factory, Opeth, Nevermore and a little Devin Townsend then you are going to think Christmas has arrived early this year. Chosen take elements of all of those bands and more and have created a swirling mass of progressive, melodic death metal and fused that with metalcore to fantastic effect. ‘Engines Of Belief’ opens the album with some very Celtic influenced rhythms before launching into the track proper and immediately what I loved is how the drums (which are excellent throughout) follow the guitar rhythms. This is a HEAVY and extreme album, but the quality of playing, superb riffs and the fact that Chosen do not rely on ultra fast drumming or soloing just for the sake of it means that I appreciate this so much more than usual. Vocals are not completely screamed either, with some very melodic and pretty good clean singing as well. Add to that some great acoustic and quieter passages within songs, such as the much more progressive ‘The Narcissism Epidemic’ and you have an album full to the brim with a vast array of styles.

What you should also be mightily impressed with (considering this is a completely independent release) is the quality of production and mix courtesy of Alwyn Walker at Westland Studios, Dublin, Ireland. ‘Resolution’ sounds like a Panzer Division of tanks arriving at full speed on your doorstep and not stopping! There is also no let up in quality over the nine songs. Best of all, though, is that apart from the album being available in two very nice looking CD packages, Chosen have seen fit to supply ‘Resolution’ as a completely free download from their website, so there really is no excuse not to check them out! I might still have reservations about the type of screamed vocals that bands like Chosen employ but credit where it’s due, if you can put that aside, what you will find here is an extremely accomplished debut album that is well worth checking out.
Review by Rick Tilley
30th March 2013
1) Engines of Belief
2) Defective Prospection
3) The Narcissism Epidemic
4) Mental Clarity
5) Diminishment
6) Instinct
7) Asch's Paradigm
8) Metaphysical Contradiction
9) The Departure Lounge
"...an extremely accomplished debut album..."