Many people were surprised when, back in 2003 and off the back of a highly successful debut album, Josh Scogin announced he would be leaving Norma Jean. He soon returned to the scene however with The Chariot and signed to Solid State Records. The first two albums continued in a similar vein to that Norma Jean debut, boasting a constant barrage of heavy and chaotic riffs and breakdowns. 'War And Rumours Of Wars' sees Scogin as the only original member of the band playing with an entirely new line-up. Whilst not changing the style of the music there seems to be better structure and more complexity in the instrumentation. Where on previous albums it felt a bit like you were listening to one long song, this album brings texture and definition. This progression is obvious right from the start with opener "Teach" where the guitars drop back as Scogin screams "Victory is such a lonely word!" before returning with a classic hardcore breakdown. The contrasts in the album are no more evident than in "Impress" which starts off at breakneck punk-rock speed before cutting down to a haunting and vacuous interlude. This album is not going to bring The Chariot to the top of the metalcore pile but it does show a marked improvement and if chaotic and unpredictable is what you are into I would certainly recommend giving it a listen.
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