Chamber – Cost Of Sacrifice

By Dave Stewart

Modern metal is rife with sub-genres. So many ideas come and go, trends rise and fall, and we all seem to find it impossible not to try and fit a band into some sort of mould as soon as we hear them. Every now and again, though, a band comes along that are impossible to pigeonhole. A band that clearly take influence from other artists, but spin them into something completely unpredictable and unrecognisable. One of those bands is Chamber – a quartet from Nashville, Tennessee that have taken the formula for metalcore and twisted it into something devilish on their debut full-length record ‘Cost Of Sacrifice’. This is not for the faint of heart.

Right from the get go they make their intentions very clear with ‘Fracture’, summoning a thick black cloud over you as it begins to contort and twist into unexpected shapes. Every breakdown is inhumanly tight but possesses an endearing rawness, like a caged animal thrashing at the bars as it tries to force itself loose. The beast rampages violently throughout the record, most notably on the psychotic and ferocious ‘The Edge Of Every Lie’ and the early Norma Jean influenced ‘Visions Of Hostility’, both blasting along at a frightening pace without providing any recovery time.

As the album progresses, the shapes continue to distort, sharpening and becoming more and more dangerous. ‘Impulse’ is slow and menacing, creeping along as it builds and builds towards a colossal cascade of thick guitars. ‘Paranoia Bleeds’ is frantic and venomous, continually snapping its jaws as it builds towards the perfect opportunity to sink in its teeth. ‘Disassemble Reassemble’ is an intimidating and haunting step into industrial territory, sounding almost mechanical in its delivery as it bellows and drudges through gut-rumbling chugs and horrific atmospherics. The title track is a masterstroke too, bringing together every trick they’ve used on the record to create the most impactful track on the whole record. Punishing breakdowns, intense vocals, flawless drums and a seemingly boundless energy – this is one hell of a debut.

This record is a ride for the thrill seekers – for the fans of aggressive music that want their heart to race from the moment the pedal hits the metal right up until the slamming of the brakes. It plays out almost like a horror film, full of ominous darkness, uncomfortable atmospherics, desperate shrieks and unexpected shocks at every single turn. The unsettling aural outbursts of ‘In Cleansing Fire’, the cataclysmic power harnessed within ‘Numb (Transfuse)’, the mind-bending guitar gymnastics of ‘Scars In Complex Patterns’ – you never know what’s coming next but it’s always a welcome spine-tingling surprise.

If you don’t start the record feeling riled up and brimming with energy, you’ll definitely feel that way when it’s over, basking in every shriek of dissonance and blood-curdling riff. A calculated, deranged fusion of modern metalcore and classic noughties mathcore, thrown together into a pot and kept right at boiling point to create something entirely new and unstable. Picture Counterparts, Knocked Loose and Johnny Truant all meeting up for a beer, but instead of drinking them they smash them on their own heads. This is what it would sound like – pure chaos delivered in the most pristine yet punishing way. If you’ve been looking for a record that can frighten you just as much as it can excite you, this is that record. Give it a listen. I dare you.


Three more album reviews for you

LIVE: Neck Deep @ Alexandra Palace, London

Kris Barras Band - ‘Halo Effect’

LIVE: Hot Water Music @ SWX, Bristol