Released: 2013, Self-released
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
If Irish duo Chosen sound a bit all over the map on their debut, that might have something to do with their literally having been all over the map as a band – starting in Ireland in 2005, veering off to Western Canada in 2008, then back to Ireland a year later where they have remained with only vocalist/guitarist Paul Shields and drummer David McCann able to hang the whole way.
Yet, despite the travel and travails of the last eight years, Chosen never did end up getting picked up by a label, so they are self-releasing Resolution as a testament to their perseverance. What the fellas really need to do now is work of developing a sound they really can call their own.
While Resolution shows plenty of potential – there's no denying these guys have chops – a lot of the album will remind the listener of someone else. The opening track, “Engines of Belief” is a mix of Meshuggah-style djent thunder mixed with the shrill pick-sweeping antics of Gojira. “Defective Prospection” boasts the industrial strength of Fear Factory (as does “Asch's Paradigm,” with its soaring clean-sung choruses) and the raw, ragged power of Lamb of God.
“The Narcissism Epidemic” resurrects the epic Jekyll and Hyde death metal of Opeth, whereas on “Diminishment” the proggier antics of latter day Death are painfully obvious. Get the picture?
There are moments where Chosen's own personality does show itself. The turbulent “Mental Clarity” is both jarringly complex and gets a pretty serious groove on. Ditto “Instinct,” whereas “Metaphysical Contradiction” is wonderfully verbose and jammy, showing that these guys certainly aren't short of smarts.
Indeed, the songs are pretty decent here, the performances solid and occasionally spectacular throughout and the production big, bold and ballsy. Resolution's short-comings are probably nothing a stable lineup with a couple other band members helping steer the sonic ship couldn't rectify. Until then, though, they run the risk of sounding more like a tribute band than a band of their own.