Chosen- Resolution

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ireland’s Chosen may be a new name, but the band actually formed in 2005 and put out several EPs before disbanding in 2009 after two of its members moved to Canada. In 2011 the two remaining members decided to revive the group, but instead of finding new members to fill the gap they remained a duo. The resulting album that has resulted from this new version of Chosen is entitled Resolution and has been offered as a free/pay what you want download as well as an enhanced physical edition. It’s a well-produced effort that offers a surprising amount of variation, and if you’re a fan of modern extreme metal you should check these guys out.

The primary genre that Chosen pulls from throughout their album is melodic death metal with a slight hint of metalcore, but they add a lot of different elements over top of this base that give each of these songs a slightly different feel. In addition to the type of heavy hitting, melodically tinged leads that are typical for the style, the instrumentals also incorporate some Meshuggah sounding grooves and much heavier, technical sections that have a more traditional death metal feel. Although the group has gone for longer tracks with each of the nine spanning five minutes or longer, it never feels as though any of the ideas are repeated for too long and everything fits together naturally. I was also impressed by how well produced this effort is, as sometimes when a band offers a release for free it has a demo recording quality to it but Resolution is just as highly polished and aggressive as anything else you’ll hear in this genre.

Paul Shields handles all of the main vocal work on this release, although the band did bring in a guest singer for a few moments to provide some additional harmony. Shields alternates between a rough scream/growl and clean singing, and while I know listeners tend to be fairly divided when it comes to clean vocals in this genre he pulls it off in a way that feels powerful and is well suited to the group’s overall sound. I have to admit that the higher pitched screaming style seemed like it could become repetitive fairly easily, so the fact that Chosen went for clean breaks on a regular basis really helped to break things up and maintain a strong performance.

Resolution has quite a few standout moments, and Chosen really seems to encompass a little bit of every style when it comes to the modern extreme metal world. The fact that the group has been willing to put a release this polished out there for potentially free consumption is an incredibly nice gesture as well, and hopefully it will help to get their name out there and lead to further opportunities. I’m excited to see where this duo will go from here, as they definitely seem to have ambition when it comes to songwriting and there are still plenty of elements that could be further explored.

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