Ages Unsung is the Chariot of the Gods’ second full length album; their first, Tides of War being released back in 2013. The band has been on a bit of a hiatus and gone through a line-up change since then. The Ottawa, Canada based band have been described as melodic death/thrash, and this album is stated as recommended for fans of the likes of Trivium, In Flames and Children of Bodom.
The album opens up with a short intro-track, Primordial Dawn, which is slow and very mellow – piano and strings no less! Just as you’re being lulled into the chilled zone, the mood and pace swiftly changes with some gutsy guitar riffs and drums. This is more like it! I realised this was only a short song (1:22), but was pleased when it morphed into track 2, Tusk, which continues on with some excellent metal grooves. Christian Therien (vocals) gives us the full treatment – excellent sounding growls and switching to great clean vocals. The switching to the clean vocals with some harmonies from the other guys for the chorus does very much remind me of Trivium’s sound, but I like Therien’s growled vocals a whole lot better! He has more of a Randy Blythe (Lamb of God) sounding edge. The drums (David Gravel) and bass (Payam Doriani) on this track really stand out – Gravel sounds impressively spot-on throughout this whole album, to be honest.
The guitar work by Mathieu St-Amour and Rock Déziel is great throughout this album. They provide some catchy, meaty metal riffs; some talent-showcasing solos – without being too OTT. They also add some Maidenesque touches here and there, which I first noted during Of Prometheus and the Sacred Flame; plus some definite galloping going on, along with Gravel’s drums, during Through Darkness and Decay. Through Darkness and Decay is another track which starts out slow, with Therien providing some pleasant clean vocals, but progresses into more of a heavy rock vein. It then kicks into another gear when the Maiden touches appear, and there’s another ‘just-right’ guitar solo. Another song I really enjoyed!
All of the songs on this album are impressive efforts with effective, and not overdone melodic touches. These guys certainly play fast, tight tunes together, and the production quality of this album is A1. Toward the end of the album I couldn’t seem to shake the Trivium comparisons at times, which annoyed me, as I actually prefer listening to these guys! I often find Matt Heafy’s growled/screamed vocals a bit too ‘screechy’ for my taste. Maybe if Chariots of the Gods ease off on the more formulaic growled to clean vocal switches in songs, or alter it so it doesn’t follow similar Trivium patterns, I won’t notice it. Regardless, these guys have put out a fantastic album, and it is seriously worth a listen!
Ages Unsung is due for release on 16 September.