Chasing Dragons – Faction
Release Date: 5/10/2018
Running Time: 46:14
Review by Beth Jones
We are a little late to the party with this review, but better late than never eh! Seeing the formidable figure of Chasing Dragons lead singer, Tank, sitting on the bar of the ‘G’s Bar Stage’, performing a breathtakingly beautiful and emotive song that moved me to tears, was one of my stand out moments of last years Amplified Festival, so having the chance to review debut album “Faction” is making me very happy. Now, there are those who would say I’m an emotional old sausage who cries at everything! Whilst in some contexts that is true, where it comes to music, it takes something special to move me to that point.
Hailing from Leeds and delivering a brilliant cross over of Heavy Metal and Rock with a really fresh feel about it, Chasing Dragons are made up of Tank on lead vocals, Adam on guitar and vocals, Murf on bass and vocals, and Kate on drums. If you haven’t heard of them yet, trust me you need to. This album is their first release since second EP “Faction: Prologue” in 2016. It is so current, but also has such a great mix of classic styles, that will be one of those albums that will come to be classed as timeless. It could quite easily cross over into mainstream with its sound, all be it at the heavier end of mainstream, with something in there for everyone to like.
Musically, it is punchy and crunchy, but not over the top. It is very precise, and fast paced, but Tank’s vocals take it to a whole new level. She has an absolutely astonishing voice, which is immensely powerful and immensely beautiful in equal measures. It soars above the music, but she has the ability to bring it down in an instant and deliver tender passages with poise and elegance. I am so unbelievably jealous! In a couple of songs, ‘Bareknuckle Lover’ and ‘Whitehorse’ in particular, her voice reminds me of one of my idols; Skunk Anansie front lady, Skin. But musically, the whole band sound has more about it than Skunk Anansie ever did, which I find incredibly exciting, considering in the late 90’s they were my go-to band when I needed to get my head straight! It draws influence from bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Halestorm, Nothing More and New Years Day, and melds every element together perfectly. The whole album is emotive and intense, pulling you in to every note, every chord progression, every rhythm, every word. I love it. Simple as that.
Production wise, it is also an absolute triumph. Everything is balanced, and nothing is out of place, even down to the tiniest differences in the amount of reverb or effects used, it is all spot on.
I wanted to pick a ‘favourite track to talk about’, but I couldn’t narrow it down to less than four! Firstly ‘Parasite’. It is a real angry track! Starting with frenetic staccato guitar, it rip-roars through three minutes of venomous lyrics of hatred bourn of a toxic relationship. It is powerful in every way, and relatable for every one of us – a brilliant succinct three-dimensional description of the angry bubbling of hopeless hatred that we have all felt at some point in our lives.
‘Devil In Her Eyes’ is another of my picks, but this time for more musical reasons. It is full of cross rhythms, rhythm changes, interesting chord progressions, and a ridiculously catchy hook in the chorus, and again amazing vocals. It also has a proper guitar solo in the middle of it, as well as lots of little intricate bits from every instrument, making it a great all-round track. It ends abruptly, leading into my next pick – ‘The Connection’.
Starting with a solitary piano note, with a touch of reverb, then a pause (silence speaks so much louder sometimes, don’t you think?) then another solitary note and pause leads into a minor chord, and crystal-clear mournful vocals that reach into your soul. Then in come the drums, not too much, but you can feel it building, and as the vocals sore, everything kicks in and bam, there are the goose bumps. It just makes me want to shout out with the pleasure and pain and joy and sadness and every other emotion that this record instils in me. Ok, so I actually think on reflection, this is my favourite song on the album, but the other three are very close!
My last pick is penultimate track ‘Whitehorse’. It starts with a nice bit of synth, and then the whole thing kicks in, in real headbanging fashion, again with brilliant little riffs and hooks popping up all over the place, and those same damn awesome vocals that just slay me they are so good. I’m sorry, I’m rambling. That’s it, I’m done.
There is one word to describe this album – passion. Complete and utter passion oozes through the whole thing – passion for the music, passion for the craft, passion for the storytelling of the subject matter. By far the most emotive album I have listened to in a long time, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get their heart racing or get lost in a perfect storm. I feel invigorated! I’m going for a lie down!!!
01. We Are The Wall
02. How The World Went Black
04. Like Gravity
05. Bareknuckle Lover
06. For Kingdom For Glory
07. This Time Is Ours
08. Devil In Her Eyes
09. The Connection
10. I’m No Devil (I’m Just A Girl)
Tweets by xChasingDragons
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