Chasing Dragons – Faction

Faction Cover

Chasing Dragons – Faction
Self-Released
Release Date: 5/10/2018
Running Time: 46:14
Review by Beth Jones
10/10

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!!!

TRACKLISTING:
01. We Are The Wall
02. How The World Went Black
03. Parasite
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)
11. Whitehorse

LINKS:
https://www.chasingdragons.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/chasingdragonsuk

https://www.instagram.com/chasingdragonsuk/
https://chasingdragons.bigcartel.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/ChasingDragonsUK

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with HELL BENT

Hell Bent Logo

EMQ’s with HELL BENT

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Providence, Rhode Island based Crossover Thrash band Hell Bent! Huge thanks to them for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Badger: I’m Badger and I sing. We’ve all known each other for a long time, and played together in various bands over the years.

Sam: I play bass. I joined the band about 2 years ago

Shawn: Guitar. I played bass in a fast hardcore band called Neon Bitches with Brian and John, which ultimately turned into this band.

How did you come up with your band name?

Badger: After weeks of hand wringing and arguing, Hell Bent was the only one we could all agree on.

Sam: Wasn’t around for that!

Shawn: You’re lucky Sam…it was tedious!

What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?

Badger: We are from the Dis-United States. Metal of all kinds is huge right now in the underground. Some of the bands are amazing, some of them are awful. Just like any other scene I reckon.

Sam: USA. The New England scene is pretty good. There’s a decent amount of good bands but there’s a decent amount of bad ones too.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)

Badger: Our full length called “Apocalyptic Lamentations” is being released soon.

Sam: “Apocalyptic Lamentations”

Shawn: It will be released via Armageddon Label & Atomic Action Records on vinyl, Horror Pain Gore Death on CD, and Metal Swarm on cassette.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Badger: Motörhead, Discharge, Pestilence, Hellhammer, Bathory, Repulsion, Blood Feast, Possessed, and many more. Essentially bands that used to be called “thrash” that were very extreme for their time, and pioneered what would later be called black metal and death metal.

Sam: Motörhead, Black Sabbath, early Slayer, Venom, Celtic Frost

Shawn: Kreator, Destruction, Possessed, Slayer at least for this band.

What first got you into music?

Badger: I grew up in a family full of musicians on my father’s side, who are all very talented but never wrote their own music. I’m not very talented but I’ve always written my own music. They were all quite concerned and disappointed that I gravitated towards heavy metal and punk. Ultimately I’ve done way more there any of them did music wise.

Sam: My dad was a bass player so we had an old bass in the house. I picked it up when I was 12 and just stuck with it.

Shawn. My next door neighbour/metalhead-guitar playing babysitter “Angus” (Paul). He turned me onto metal at a super young age.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Badger: I’m excited about the band Lowlife who have members of Cryptic Slaughter and Repulsion.

Sam: Really looking forward to playing with Cryptic Slaughter/Lowlife at MDF (Hell Bent played The Maryland Death Fest on 26th May)

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Badger: We’re playing Maryland Death Fest and that’s the only fest I’ve ever coveted, although I’m sure there are many more great ones out there I just don’t know about.

Sam: Wacken would be cool. It doesn’t get much bigger than that.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Badger: Not a gift but some really drunk woman came up to me and told me she thought I was beautiful.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Enjoy yourself as much as you can before industrial civilization as we know it collapses.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Badger: None of them. We’ve all got an expiration date.

Sam: Cliff Burton

Shawn: Paul Baloff

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Badger: I love playing. I don’t like the good old boy scenester “you scratch my back I scratch yours” bullshit, but I don’t think anyone does, including those who engage in that behaviour the most.

Sam: I just enjoy playing and making new music. The only part I hate is moving bass cabs and heavy gear upstairs.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Shawn: The competitive nature there is at times.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Badger: Post Mortem – “Coroner’s Office”

Sam: Judas Priest – “Sad Wings Of Destiny”

Shawn: Mercyful Fate – “Don’t Break The Oath”

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Badger: I hate to say it but downloads for me. I used to have a huge vinyl collection but I don’t have the space to collect artefacts anymore.

Sam: Vinyl

Shawn: Vinyl 100%

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Badger: I really enjoyed ripping up some weird bar in Manchester, New Hampshire with Haxen and Psycho.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Badger: I paint and draw a lot.

Sam: Playing an unhealthy amount of pinball.

Shawn: Riding motorcycles.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Shawn: Uli Jon Roth, Ritchie Blackmore, King Diamond, Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton.

What’s next for the band?

Our record is released in all formats on June 14th. We’ll hopefully start playing more shows and doing some runs to support that.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Badger: Bandcamp;
https://hellbentri.bandcamp.com/

Sam: Instagram and Facebook;
https://www.facebook.com/hellbentri/
https://www.instagram.com/hell_bent_metal/

Shawn: Instagram mostly. Facebook makes it impossible to reach anyone, anymore. Bandcamp is great for hosting, you just have to get people there…

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Badger: I’ve never had one of those but you limeys like to use the term “biscuits” a lot more freely than those of us in the US do. Here in the US anything sweet is either a cookie or a cake, biscuits are usually savoury. So even though I’ve never had a Jaffa Cake, I have had most of the varieties of Mcvitie’s digestive biscuits, and like them all very much. I’m normally a salties guy rather than sweets, and I’m not a huge fan of baked goods in general. Despite all of that, I could eat those chocolate-covered digestives until I passed out in a diabetic coma.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Badger: Read HP Lovecraft if you want to get where we’re coming from.

Shawn: Thank you for your time and we look forward to seeing our fans this summer. Cheers!

 

Hell Bent Pic

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.