1/18/2006 - Review by: Eric Compton
Chain Collector - Masquerade - 2005 - Sound Riot Records
Norway's Chain Collector is actually made from members of other bands. Here you will find members of Carpathian Forest, Trail Of Tears, and even Green Carnation. While those bands are all individual and unique, Chain Collector still manages to be a different creation from those bands, with the members obviously using this as an experimental outlet for some other musical avenues. The band released a demo called "Forthcoming Addiction" in 2004, one year after their formation. Now the band has unleashed their debut full-length on Massacre Records in Europe and Sound Riot Records here in the US (distributed by The End Records and Century Media).
"Masquerade" is really a mixture of different styles, at times coming across in much the same way as Soilwork. The guitar tone and riff structures are a bit like modern day Soilwork. The band is a heavy and aggressive, allowing some vocal delivery that is a bit like Vorph from Samael. Using huge, groove laden chops that are both grinding and melodic, Chain Collector achieves that ability to hook the listener and going one step further by mixing in some melodic solos and twin guitar. This band is far from a Gothenburg styled band, but tracks like "Fallen Angel" and "And Then There Was None" have that In Flames sort of aspect to them.
The really interesting thing about this band is their use of clean vocals. While the harsh, more abrasive vocals are firmly in place, a more gothic tinged clean voice mixes in some atmosphere and power sure to please fans ranging from goth to power and progressive metal. It is times like this that remind me of mid-era Amorphis, Sentenced, or even today's Mercenary. Favorite track for me is the power metal oriented cut "Winter Princess", which showcases an unbelievable riff attack.
Bottom Line - Just like other diverse bands like Soilwork and Mercenary, Chain Collector take it one more notch and include themselves in an elite list. This is a newcomer to watch! "Masquerade" comes highly recommended.
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