Chiraw - Dark Frequencies
Rusty Cage Records
Modern Metal/Melodeath
12 songs (45:24)
Release year: 2008
Chiraw, Rusty Cage Records
Reviewed by Goat

Hailing from Holland, five-piece Chiraw present a bit of a problem. Playing a style of music that sounds like Meshuggah, Korn and Children Of Bodom having a jam together, with the groovy tendencies of the first two mixing with the aggression of the last, initial listens can be a little difficult. Of course, the occasional dip into Metalcore territory doesn’t help, nor does the impression that the band have taken more from later Fear Factory than they have from the band’s earlier output. Chiraw are ultimately a bit of a melting-pot; all the influences tipped into a big cauldron and stirred, until the resulting mixture is is tipped out and pummelled until it resembles songs.

This is both completely unfair and not harsh enough, depending on which part of which song you’re listening to. Some of the songs have truly excellent moments – the clean vocals and epic synths popping up here and there in Revole could have been used much more without any complaints from me, as they’re truly uplifting and almost beautiful. Of course, it’s the poor parts that drag the band down, those dips into pointless groove riffing sounding far too close to the aforementioned Korn to be bearable. The good just about outweighs the bad, but this isn’t an album that I’d recommend to someone that didn’t want a challenging listen.

It’s hard to pick highlights. Vacant sounds like early Soulfly with a Metalcore vocalist and some Death growls – the riffs aren’t so much polyrhymic as monosyllabic. When Dark Frequencies works, it’s because of the odd solo, keyboard trill or clean vocal that manages to rise above the mire and drag the rest of the song kicking and screaming into ‘actually, that’s not so bad’ land. Concentrating on those elements, and writing songs with less of those mind-numbing groove riffs, and Chiraw will be a force to reckon with. Give them a chance, however, as Dark Frequencies is only their debut album (and was released last year by the band themselves before Rusty Cage snapped them up and re-released it properly) and is ok for forty-minutes’ entertainment.

Killing Songs :
Revole, Vacant
Goat quoted 58 / 100
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