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Chiral – Hope

by Will Travers at 04 March 2021, 9:02 AM

Music for the loners. That’s CHIRAL’s tag line on their social media presence. I’m not overall sure what to make of that as a statement… I think of myself as a bit of a loner at times, but my music tastes are very eclectic and varied, so I will be very interested to see what their music is like.

The artwork simply shows a child, slightly cliché but it is the saying that children are the hope for the future. Opening the record is “A Scratched Portrait”, I assume the title is a hat tip to the artwork as the image was scratched around the eyes. However it is just ambient noise before the main event of “That Little Wormhole You Called A Heart (Part I)”. The track opens with a slow and deliberate pace, dissonant chords that just exhumes an air of hopelessness and this continues throughout the track. There are small flourishes of energy and pace but they are short lived. Whilst the music creates the atmosphere, it really is the vocals that seal the effect in concrete. The guttural and piercing growls are full of emotion and pain that is just really difficult to imitate, and it makes you as a listener feel slightly uneasy, or at least it did me.

The contrast of styles and effects between the latter and “.ann” is incredible. Think if you were to compare early and later OPETH side by side… Well the more melodic and gentler side came through in this track. The instrumental track was a welcome reprieve after the ten minute journey down the rabbit hole that came in “That Little Wormhole You Called A Heart (Part I)”. But the styles continue on their journey and come full circle with “That Little Wormhole You Called A Heart (Part II)” (that’s track 4 if your losing your place) starts in the gentler cleaner styles provoking emotional responses before the main effort kicks back in with some more languishing despair.

It appears that this record revolves around its atmosphere, with the effects being felt with each strum of the guitar, resonated in every pounding rhythm of the drum tracking. But its main ambience is from the powerful and emotive vocals that pierce through you with every shriek and growl. Overall, the record is a success, and I appreciate CHIRAL’s tagline all the more for having heard it. I would recommend this to anyone who really wants to not only listen to an album but to really feel it too.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. A Scratched Portrait
2. That Little Wormhole You Called A Heart (Part I)
3. .ann
4. That Little Wormhole You Called A Heart (Part II)
5. Bridge Of Memories
6. Mortal Way/ Full Circle
Chiral – Everything
Record Label: Independent


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