The Chariot has always been good if you really appreciate the hardcore roots of certain facets of metal. They usually present a great raw product, as well as that awesome sense of chaos with the math elements involved. However, a good amount of press has been done on their latest album, One Wing and how the band calls it their “weirdest” release to date. I assumed this meant they would take their style in a slightly different direction, like perhaps more math, or maybe something more melodic. But after hearing One Wing, I see that their statements are to be taken quite literally.
First thing to know is that One Wing still is The Chariot. The opener, “Forget” is undeniably their style of modern hardcore/metalcore with that little taste of math in the mix. It definitely sucks you in and make you want to hear more from them, and see just what kind of direction this album is going to go. Then you get to the third track, “Your”, and hear a female singer sing a nice and simple melody about a busy bee slowly building into something big, and then cuts. It stands out immediately where you have to stop what you’re doing and make sure you’re still listening to One Wing. It almost has no business being on the album, but I supposed that’s the exact effect The Chariot was trying to go with on One Wing.
The lyrics of “Your” are also taken from a previous song, “They Faced Each Other” from their 2007 release, The Fiancée. So it’s not totally off base, but still catches you off guard. You would then get to the song “First”, and fully know the amount of experimentation that went into this album. A little after the first minute of the song, we are immediately taken to an old Western cowboy movie where a shootout is to take place. Marching drums, blaring trumpets and even a whip crack come together to complete the atmosphere. Other songs like “Speak” and “Tongues” present some strange moments which are pretty unpredictable and can be a little strange. But it’s not that sort of experimentation where you just wish the next track is going to be like material from past albums. It makes you keep listening to see what other uncanny surprises await in the rest of One Wing. The best thing about all of the oddities is that the familiar sound of The Chariot still remains intact in the midst of all the experimentation. That is really the best kind of experimentation; where you can feel free to be weird, but you don’t strip yourself of all previous identities. And I feel that One Wing is an example of experimentation gone right.
It’s always a risk whenever a band turns off their filters for an album and just allows an album be, but sometimes it works. One Wing is a good listen not only if you’re still into the hardcore/metalcore scene, or a fan of The Chariot, but also if you just want something new. It’s worth more than just a few listens and stands very well as another solid release by The Chariot.