Americans Chrome Waves actually made their recording debut towards the start of this decade and then went completely off the radar for about seven years before returning with this new full-length album, A Grief Observed. The band sell themselves as Post/alt. metal, which turns out to be a mixture of hipster nonsense like Deafheaven and more substantial (IE traditional) doom-laden death a la Swallow The Sun and, remarkably, My Dying Bride.
That said, they seem to be at their best when driving the alt. side of things, with the best track here, Predatory Animals, mixing the nu-black vocals of James Benson with some insistent, driving rock not that far away from what you’d hear on a Torche record. It’s pretty exciting stuff, to be honest, with the band offering enough of their own personality – especially in the vocal department – to transcend labelling and just rock the fuck out. The solo – horribly misplaced on such a record, if we’re being honest – is spine tingling in it’s greatness. Way to go, genre-mashing blokes!
Sadly much of the later part of the album is taken up with slightly less energetic fare – these people are flirting with blackgaze throughout, after all – but fans of this musical netherworld where woolly, melancholic old meets rigidly constructed, forward-looking new, will honestly find much to take out of almost everything on offer.
The band – completed by guitarist/synth man Jeff Wilson and Bob Fouts (who drums and plays bass on this album, I think) – have clearly spent their time hors de combat well, and if they can add more focus to their next offering – everything more than we get here, if you see what I mean – then they could well be on the verge of presenting something pretty special. But this will do for now.
A Grief Observed is out now.