Yesterday I picked up Chelsea Grin’s latest release, “My Damnation”. I have been anticipating this release since I found out it was coming on June 4th, almost 2 months ago. Chelsea Grin are easily one of the best deathcore bands in the world right now in my opinion. The sextet from Salt Lake City, Utah are in their fourth year of existence and “My Damnation” is the third release the band have written, the first two being the self titled EP released through Statik Factory Records in 2008 and their first full length, “Desolation of Eden” in 2010 through Artery Recordings. The band’s first EP drew me into the band and after hearing both of the first two releases in their entirety on many occasions I came to place Chelsea Grin among the best bands out there in any genre. They’re definitely among my personal favourites and that is why I’m so excited to have the opportunity to review “My Damnation”.
The track listing:
1. The Foolish One
2. Everlasting Sleep
3. Behind A Veil Of Lies
5. My Damnation
7. Calling In Silence
9. Last Breath
10. All Hail The Fallen King
The opening track is one for the ages. If you can listen to this song on full volume without signing your soul over to the devil you have much more restraint than I. If you listen to the first track on the album and love it then you’re going to love the rest of the album because it is all just as brutally awesome as “The Foolish One”. The opening notes are the highs of the one and only Alex Koelher, one of the best vocalists in the business. This man could scream at the devil and make him piss himself in fear for his life… And I love it! You will too. “The Foolish One” is extremely fast-paced and is a perfect leader of the pack for this album.
The transition from “The Foolish One” into “Everlasting Sleep” is completely unnoticeable unless you are paying close attention to your iTunes as it happens. I love it when bands do this, writing one song that leads seamlessly into the next like that. “Everlasting Sleep” is a fast paced onslaught of blast beats and brutal vocals that are periodically overlapping melodic guitar tracks throughout the album in a way that is very tastefully done. This track is a must hear.
The third track, “Behind A Veil Of Lies” opens with a slow melodic guitar being played alone which leads into more of what preceded on the first two tracks. With the exception of track four, the instrumental track entitled Kharon (1:18 in length), this album is basically one big fast-paced pummelling of the listeners’ eardrums. If you’re not into having your eardrums pumelled then perhaps you need to look for another genre of music because you’re going to be hard pressed to find a band in this genre that will take it easy on them.
The drumming on this entire album is impressive, skillfully done and very tight. Not the most original style of drumming but personally, I’m not looking for originality. If it’s not broken don’t fix it. If it doesn’t sound bad, don’t reinvent it. Andrew Carlston, you are one fine drummer. The guitar work on this album is very impressive in my opinion. There is definitely a variety of style in the way the guitars are played. There is a lot of “chugging” guitar on the album but I fucking love “chugging” guitars so… I don’t give a fuck! There’s also a lot of melodic fretwork going on here and if you take the guitar at face value you’re going to be very happy with it. The trio of guitarists that Chelsea Grin calls upon to give fans deaf ears by the age of 35 have definitely done what I was hoping they’d do on this album. David Flinn-Marshall has done his part here but the bass is not what people listen to Chelsea Grin for… What people love about this band the most is Alex Koelher’s beautiful voice. Oh how I love this man’s vocals! His highs are the best in the business in my opinion and on “My Damnation” you’re definitely going to notice that he uses the highs a lot more than on the previous two releases. This is the main reason I love this album so much. Alex Koelher is one helluva deathcore vocalist… Possibly the most entertaining in the business due to the range he has harnessed.
This album as a whole puts the vocals on a pedestal, as it should but I feel the rest of the music suffers a bit because of it. The rest of the band have done great things on this album too, not saying they haven’t, but at times it’s hard to hear them over the volume of the vocal tracks. I believe this is a mixing issue, one that is very minor but still worth noting. My rating is a 4.5/5. Without the mixing issue I daresay it would be higher.