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Chrome Waves - Where we Live Award winner

Chrome Waves
Where we Live
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 21 September 2020, 12:16 PM

CHROME WAVES formed in 2010, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. They identify as a “Post-Black” Metal band, and “Where we Live” is their sophomore effort, and contains six tracks. Members are made up from other bands like AMIENSUS, ABIGAIL WILLIAMS, and SKELETONWITCH. “Hollow Dreams” leads off the album. Some string lead off the album, then comes the rouse of Black Metal. But, the guitars keep it from stalling, and really create a unique sound. It settles into a riff with harsh vocals. The clean vocal harmonies usher in this beautiful but subtle melody. It creates this longing in your heart that doesn’t leave you easily.

“Gazing into Oblivion” features a more traditional riff in the opening sequence. It still has those melancholy tones, and those vocals are angry and full of rage. The clean vocals come in and wash away the filth, like being baptized in a sacred river. “New Skin” opens with a heavy and slow sound, with some melody in the main guitar riff. It has an outer-world sort of sound. The traditional structure lends itself nicely to the overall sound. “Spoonfed” is over eight-minutes in length. Low, soft vocals open the song, and it moves slowly from there. The vocals are very despondent in nature. The sound drops around the half-way mark, to just come clean guitars, and depression.

“On the Precipice” opens with what sounds like a fairly traditional guitar riff. Harsh screams come in, and then dual clean harmonies. The combination of the two varying styles keeps the listener on his/her toes. That longing feeling returns once again. You can’t help feeling those emotions in the song. They are just so pronounced. As if you weren’t dejected enough, an extended passage of ambiance comes around, furthering these feelings, and taking the song to completion. “Where you Live” closes the album, and it’s an eleven-minute beast. The music is poignant and highly emotive, while the vocals are angry and welt from deep within. They really drive this sound home here. As the song comes to a close, all the peace you had in your life seems to have been sucked away.

I loved this album. Black Metal/Post-Black Metal has limitless boundaries, and CHROME WAVES took full advantage of this here on “Where we Live.” It is highly emotive, and they really dig deep into feelings of dejection, depression, and failure, while still providing subtle melodies along the way. This is a carefully crafted album and you can hear the band’s high level of musicianship. Sometimes, “super-groups” do not work out very well. But in this case, the synergy on the album is better than the collective sum of the members. I haven’t yet heard their first release, but they now have a big fan in me.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Hollow Dreams
2. Gazing into Oblivion
3. New Skin
4. Spoonfed
5. On the Precipice
6. Where you Live
James Benson – Vocal, Guitars
Jeff Wilson – Bass, Guitars, Synth, Vocals
Dustin Boltjes – Drums
Record Label: Disorder Recordings


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