CHEVALIER - Destiny Calls
Release date April 26/19 (Gates Of Hell)
Was really looking forward to this new full length given that Chevalier's intense and chaotic Chapitre II topped the 'Best EP of 2018' list here at The Mighty Decibel (refer review below). Giving speed metal a shot in its atrophied arm, here was a new band that was providing a glimpse into where the sub-genre could be taken in the future. What wondrous excesses would the Finnish speedsters unleash on the unsuspecting listener over a full platter?
Truth be told, things don't start off strongly, the instrumental 'Introduction' being simply unremarkable and the follow-up 'The Immurement' coming across as a bit of a mess. However, the train is put back on its rails with 'The Curse Of A Dead Star', a track revisited from the EP that plays to the bands strengths. Here the emotional and hysterical rantings of vocalist Emma Gronqvist perfectly mesh with the intense riffage, played loose and lethal in Savage lexicon. 'A Road Of Light' follows, taking a couple of minutes to rev up into a Maiden dual rhythm guitar lather, which refers back to the Killers platter. Safely back on track from hereon out, Chevalier kick out three more extended tracks (and three short instrumentals) challenging convention and listeners with incredible instrumental adroitness and harried intensity.
This is by no means an easy listen though. Destiny Calls could easily come off as an earache-my-eye pile of disjointed noise to those without a trained ear or for those not giving this studied listens. Best consumed with headphones in utter isolation, it is here where the magic is unveiled. The active, bobbing bass and crazed vocals take you where few bands (or eagles?) dare. Shame that the rhythm guitars are buried too low in the mix though.