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Chevalier - Destiny Calls

Chevalier
Destiny Calls
by Quinten Serna at 11 May 2019, 9:52 PM

CHEVALIER, what a band to behold by sight and sound—I’ll admit it frankly that I’ve never heard any of their previous releases or endeavors before “Destiny’s Calls” and for that point I am both astonished and upset with myself, as theirs is a truly unique approach. Hailing from Hellsinki, Finland—at least in formation—they’ve been going strong since 2016 and haven’t changed their attitude or style since conception, with “Destiny’s Calls” being a more than fitting true debut, and follow up to their EPs.

What dramatic speech can be made for the intro entitled, “Introduction?” A short and sweet prelude to the rest of the album whose melodic combinations are themselves distinct from the album as a whole; comprising of an almost traditional/folk sounding guitar melody coupled with the synth progression, this allows us a hint at the themes and motifs spread throughout the album, those of warmth, discord, and triumph. Whilst “The Immurement” is where we are truly introduced to the band in all its effects, the guitars don’t relent for a second even as the rest of the band moves into silence. The vocals are wailed out with near-perfect delivery varying between piercing highs and sullen lows, all of which seamlessly transitioned to.

For the greater part of the album the music, in a sense of composition, is sublime and unchallenged whereas you can tell through its delivery you can sense that this band truly is a unit, a group of different minds collectively working together with undeterred focus. Perhaps one of the best examples of this phenomenon is in the song “In the Grip of Night” as the strings seem to be almost independent of the drums and of each other, yet hook together extremely well without bearing so much a single stutter or any dissonance. Overall Emma’s approach to voice rhythms is a unique aspect of the music, as she effortlessly moves in and out of meter and rhyme almost completely independent from the guitars, as evidenced by “Stormbringer” wherein she delivers solid hooks and driving melodies—the guitars, by nature, are playing leading riffs and don’t offer a strong foundation for melodies to be played over them, yet she still finds just the right amount of room to dance on top of.

The only issue that I’ve found with the album—which is what will most likely deter any casual fans—is the low fidelity of the recordings, for any person who appreciates music for its composition, or any fan that listens to the message behind the music, it is of course no article of issue as the music in and of itself is superbly constructed. Yet, any or most casual listener might be deterred by the lack of quality, specifically in instances where the instruments are not distinct from one another and begin to meld into each other, one of the prime examples being “Road of Light” as right at the beginning the oration is near impossible to hear skipping ahead until just after the half point of the song the second guitar becomes drowned in the mix and bounces in and out of being audible just due to its placement in the mix. As a whole however, the singing is lost of most of the album as it just does not cut through the music which is itself a truly sad motif as the lyrics are one of the best features of the album, the combination of prose set onto rhythm is brilliants, just take for example a passage from “A Warrior’s Lament.”

But still I'm ensnared in this broken world of man
If immortality has cursed me here where I don't belong
On Earth it shall be as in Hell for me
 It’s as if Jim Morrison was tasked with scribing and orating unwritten tales from Tolkien himself, the application of words to music is incredible, and overall the album is a great introduction not only for the band their debut, but for anyone who’s any burgeoning interest in the band itself.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Introduction
2. The Immurement
3. The Curse of the Dead Star
4. Road of Light
5. As the Clouds Gather
6. Stormbringer
7. In the Grip of Night
8. Prelude to the End
9. Warrior’s Lament
10.  Outro
Lineup:
Sebastian Bergman - Bass
Joel - Drums
Mikko - Guitars (Lead)
Tommi - Guitars (Lead), Backing Vocals
Emma Grönqvist - Vocals
Record Label: Gates of Hell Records
     


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Edited 22 May 2019
 

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