Post Classifieds

Chiodos show talent

By Matt Gantos
On April 2, 2014

If you ever wonder what it means to be a post-hardcore band, give a listen to Chiodos, specifically their new record "Devil." Post-hardcore is such a strange name, and really doesn't tell the listener much.
It somehow implies that hardcore music has ended, when, first of all, that is far from true, and secondly, what would it even mean if it had?
The important thing is to not get hung up on the words, but more so the musicians they encompass. Chiodos, one of the most popular post-hardcore bands to date, is packed with talented musicians. Don't let the word "hardcore" scare you, it isn't the super-heavy scream that might come to mind.
Typically, Chiodos have a bit of screaming, but it's toward the higher end of the spectrum and is complemented by front man vocalist Craig Owens' otherwise incredibly pleasant voice.
Clean vocals are certainly his specialty, and the clean sections outnumber any screams by far. Most of the time, the screams come after some sort of build-up and are stylistically appropriate.
Owens is still on his lyric game too.
"If I can write about all these dark thing that I'm going through with life and have thousands of strangers singing them back to me, like they know exactly where I'm coming from, it really cements these feelings and helps me move forward," Owens said.
This has been a kind of staple in the Chiodos discography, and "Devil" is no exception. Owens has one of the most exceptional voices in music today, and he lets you know it on every track. Try to sing along, I dare you.
Owens isn't the only talented one in the band though. He is surrounded by talented musicians and, in this way, I consider them a musician's band.
They do plenty of things in common time, but it is not uncharacteristic of the band to venture into 6/8 and other even weirder time signatures. Derrick Frost, who returned to the band in 2012, along with Owens, lays an incredible foundation for each musician to build off of.
The strength in their theory stems from each member. Bradley Bell, keyboard and vocals, supplies the melodies, complemented by Thomas Erak on guitar.
Erak is actually new to the band, this is his first album with Chiodos, but he certainly makes himself heard. Though, he may be new to the band, Erak is an accomplished guitarist in his own right. You may recognize his name from the band The Fall of Troy.
The music Erak created in The Fall of Troy was remarkable because not only was he playing complex guitar parts, but also doing vocals, and doing it at the same time. Watching some of his live videos is one of the more impressive things I've seen in a long time.
"I feel like this is the first band I've ever been in," Erak said, talking about the album and the new band formation. "Because The Fall of Troy was my band and I mean that like here, everyone has so much input."
No doubt seeing Chiodos live with the formation of new and returning members will be a show to remember. Sometimes though, I feel that their studio albums, including "Devil," can be so elaborate that they are difficult to reproduce live.
Each track is so elaborate in terms of harmony and ornamentation that there is no way they could create it all live with just the six members.
Regardless, the new album, "Devil," is a well written, well produced album that deserves your ears.

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