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Chrome Waves – The Rain Will Cleanse Award winner

Chrome Waves
The Rain Will Cleanse
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 17 October 2021, 2:21 PM

CHROME WAVES formed in 2010 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The quartet is a Post/Black Metal band, and their lyrics deal with issues of loss, urban life, and depression. Their latest offering here titled “The Rain Will Cleanse” contains six tracks. The production here is kept a but muted with the mids cranked back to create a sky of eternal grey colors…perfect for the music.

“When Night Falls” leads off the album. The opening rhythms and drum work remind me of THE CURE. Add in the vocals, and this sad song drips with elements of yesteryear. It’s a simple melody but drags you down with its depressing sound. “Sometimes” begins with a familiar sound, heavy and dark in scope. The bass guitar notes are so low they reverberate in your chest like a freight train rushing by. The clean vocal harmonies are very charming, albeit eternally sad. The melody reminds of “Killing Loneliness” by HIM.

“Tired” features a thick and heavy mid-section and the lumbering pace of doom. Maybe it’s me, but I don’t hear many Black Metal elements at all here. The despondent elements are dialed up and an image suddenly comes to mind…that of an old man wandering the streets at night in the cold, too tired to move with purpose and slowly fading into nothing. “A Future” is a nine-minute beast, beginning with fuzzy distortion in the guitars and big drum accents. Cold bleakness is what comes though here…a future without much of anything to get excited about. As it rolls forward, the fog becomes thicker, and more difficult to navigate. By the end, you are lost in it.

“Wind Blown” is a beautiful offering that brings chills to your spine and tears to your eyes. The emotions they are able to invoke in their music are both lively and colorful. It also has a catchiness that is hard to describe, almost like latching on to something that you know is bad for you, but it just feels too easy to give in that you quit fighting. “Aspiring Death” closes the album. It moves slowly, with echoing vocals and screams of despair that you can’t help but watch even know it kills you inside to do so. Madness turns to muted desperation as you reach the end of your rope, and dive head-first, leaving your fate up to whoever might be in charge…and whoever might listen…perhaps no one.

Though this falls somewhere loosely into the Metal genre fringes, don’t let its lonely tones of grey push you away from becoming immersed in the album because it is fantastically depressing in every sense of that phrase. A succession of cold, rainy days with skies that are forever grey…a fate sealed with walking the earth forever alone…a death that is both painless and unmemorable…everlasting doubts that your existence has any meaning at all. Wonderfully somber.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. When Night Falls
2. Sometimes
3. Tired
4. A Future
5. Wind Blown
6. Aspiring Death
James Benson – Guitar, Vocals
Dustin Boltjes – Drums
Zion Meagher – Bass
Jeff Wilson – Guitar, Synth, Vocals
Darja Vaarsi – Additional Vocals
Record Label: Transcending Records


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