The Fiance and Wars and Rumors of War set the bar really high for the Chariot. BOth records were album to find a way to hardness sheer chaos and madness into two great albums full of killer songs. Each progression for the band has been a step into greatness and you could only assume that the band’s fourth full-length, Long Live, and first for new label Good Fight would continue the bands upward climb.
For my money, Long Live is broken up into two interchanging parts. You have 5 songs, named for fans who won a contest and 5 songs kind of based on a them (The Audience, The City, The Earth, The Heavens, and The King). And it’s clear that half of these songs are better then the other half. It’s like two eps intermixed.
The album’s opening track, Evan Perks, is feedback into Josh Scogin screaming and pounding drums, followed by more feedback. 1:36 of guitar feedback that reminds me of the band’s debut, which was the weakest and most inconsistent release. Calvin Makenzie feels more like a song from the last two Chariot albums but the end of the song has this cheesy sample in it that really throws me for a loop and takes me out of the song completely. Andy Sundwall and Robert Rios are the best of the fan named songs. Just a solid songs. David De La Hoz is ok but mid song has a spoken word part by Dan Smith of Listener, which isn’t terrible but again just throws things for me. The harp at the end of the song is to die for though. The 5 songs named for the fans aren’t terrible. All feel like the band’s debut, Everything Is Alive, Everything Is Breathing, Nothing Is Dead, and Nothing Is Bleeding. Minus a couple of things that throw 2 songs off, they’re not terrible but I personally never enjoyed The Chariots debut album and these songs just don’t hit me right.
The other 5 tracks on the record are another story. The Audience starts much the same way Evan Perks kicked in, with feedback into Scogins scream and drums. But the drums are actually playing a beat and have been eqed so that when the track kicks in there’s this dynamic shift. The City is full blown chaos that reminds me of Dillinger Escape Plan’s Calculating Infinity. The Earth packs a punch and really sounds like The Chariot have channeled Norma Jean circa Bless the Martyr. The Heavens is a minor misstep. It’s an experimental track for the first half, and left me scratching my head a little. When the song finally kicks in it’s the most controlled song the Chariot has ever done. Like putting crazy in a box. The King has an extended drum outro and then some more feedback and and a sample going haywire to the albums close.
The band recorded this album live like they did their debut and the result is a rawer version of the Chariot and it has a lot of similarities to Everything Is Alive, Everything Is Breathing, Nothing Is Dead, and Nothing Is Bleeding. There are a lot of good moments on Long Live and Chariot fans will love this album. But the few missteps and things that bug me keep this record from being a favorite of mine. A solid record overall and anyone looking for something outside the normal walls of the current hardcore/metalcore scene should give this record a listen.