“I will be there through the darkest of your days” is one of those dreamy one-liners that every girl hopes a man (or woman) will coo to her, gripping an acoustic guitar on the deck of a balcony or fireside in a haughty ski resort. Yet it’s the hook in metal band Chrysalis song “Angel,” a warped banger masquerading as a swoonsome confession of unconditional love. Metal isn’t usually associated with such romantic furor, but that’s where the California hardcore outfit swoop in with Reminder, their 11-track full-length album. The record, released last month in January 2017, challenges the idea that metal has to be 100% formidable 100% of the time (although we can assert that there’s a fair amount of anger on the album, too).
Like many songs on Reminder, “Angel” starts off soft – gentle, even – with twinkling acoustic guitar, but quickly hardens with racing guitar licks and scorching vocals. It’s the poster child for all of Reminder, which fluctuates between cautiously caring indignantly raging. A helping hand from Grammy-nominated producer Ulrich Wild – of Incubus, Pantera, and Deftones fame – shines through the rigid cracks of the album’s more rugged spots.
Vocalist Yessi Burton in particular blazes trails with fire with scratchy vocals that pop from the tracks. From the aforementioned lullaby-like statements of adoration, to scathing remarks like “people like you make the world so ugly” on tune Atlas,” Reminder presents itself like a maelstrom; unpredictable, and an undeniable force of nature.
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