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Christopher Carrion – Sycophantic Overtures Award winner

Christopher Carrion
Sycophantic Overtures
by Joseph Brewer at 22 September 2020, 12:37 AM

CHRISTOPHER CARRION is an enigma. Impossible to define, mercurial in every moment, and with some of the best song titles in the business. Born out of the ashes of the tragic ending of DECELLION, prodigy Jesse Lacharite endured and moved forward, focusing on a new endeavor. Already a multi-instrumentalist, Lacharite turned his attention towards the recording process. As a completely independent artist, Lacharite is not held down by the restrictions of a label. He is completely free to express himself and speaks to some of the insane and unbelievable events happening in the world today. Performed, recorded, mixed, and mastered completely on his own, Lacharite recently completed the first project under the CHRISTOPHER CARRION name. It’s a wild and unpredictable, but very enjoyable, collection of songs in an album entitled, “Sycophantic Overtures”.

CHRISTOPHER CARRION starts off the album with “Markovian Parallax Denigrate”. At once, your ears are flooded with a few different things happening altogether. A light percussion melody moves the song forward, unintelligible words are spoken in what may be a language other than English, and surrounding it all is a harsh whisper that comes in and out. You can feel all of this building to a crescendo. However, it then transitions to the first verse, a gentle, atmospheric melody carried along by Lacharite’s soft singing. His voice in this song is sweet and subdued, focusing on sustaining notes over time. While most of the track is fairly somber, near the end, a piercing guitar solo breaks through the darkness and provides that one moment of light to round out the opening track. The only downside, and this is a common theme through a few of his songs, is that there are epic building moments that often do not result in a climax. Musically, the expectation is for the buildup to resolve itself in a shining moment of glory, but more often than not, with CHRISTOPHER CARRION, that moment is executed in a modest way. The beauty is undeniable, but so is the feeling that an opportunity was missed.

Next up is “Behold, A Pale Horse” and we get our first taste of the other side of Lacharite’s vocals: a blackish, harsh delivery. This track gets off to a heavier start, the guitars and drums thumping forward with Lacharite crooning in his grungy, soft singing voice. But then, there’s a bit of a tonal change and out comes the growls, guttural as hell, as they alternate between high and low pitched roars. This juxtaposition between clean singing and growls is one that I love as it embellishes them both in a given song, poignantly highlighting both the light and the dark. It is executed perfectly in most of CHRISTOPHER CARRION’s songs that utilize both approaches.

Oprichniki” is one of my favorite songs on the album (I told you these were some of the best song titles out there, right?). In my view, it is one of his most successful songs on the album if the focus were to achieve a more commercial-esque song. The song structure is more approachable and standard with a pleasant melody, especially in the chorus. “Sycophantic Overtures” in general seems to be developed upon a foundation of experimental ideas and alternative sounds, so it is uncommon for any given song to deliver a moment that would be considered an earworm. “Oprichniki” delivers that earworm chorus and elevates the overall album because of it.

For those in the mood for a track that’s not as gentle and is a non-stop ride, “Cultural Seppuku” fits that need. The double bass is going practically non-stop and the guitars are strumming feverishly to keep up. This is specifically due to the crashing, quick changing rhythms the song travels through. The growls by Lacharite are unleashed a bit more than usual in this song, which helps to add to the ‘oomph’ and heaviness of the track.

Overall, I was extremely impressed by “Sycophantic Overtures” by CHRISTOPHER CARRION. Every single track is meticulous and complex, melodic and powerful, beautiful and thought provoking. I would need to spend much more time with it to really grasp all of the musical ideas and to really connect those to the timely and relevant lyrics written by Lacharite. This is no bubblegum pop metal album. Developed with sophistication and unbelievable talent, the album gets more impressive with every listen and it is absolutely stunning to realize that Jesse Lacharite did everything on his own.

Favorite Songs: “Markovian Parallax Denigrate”, “Behold a Pale Horse”, “Oprichniki

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Markovian Parallax Denigrate
2. Behold, A Pale Horse
3. Snuff 2: The Resurrection
4. Oprichniki
5. Sick With Trust
6. Third Rome
7. Overmorrow
8. Aura Of Imperfection
9. Cultural Seppuku
10. Divide Et Impera
Lineup:
Jesse Lacharite - Vocals, All Instruments
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 23 October 2020
 

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