Chasing Dragons – Faction: Prologue Review
Ahead of their long-awaited debut full length album, the tireless alt-metal quartet, Chasing Dragons, have released their 3rd EP in 4 years, as a sampler of what to expect. Faction: Prologue is exactly that, a prologue to their upcoming album, entitled Faction. The EP has been funded via a kickstarter campaign which saw them earn a whopping 250% of their initial pledge request; and after hearing the stunning EP, there is no doubt that fans and pledgers will be ecstatic with the results! It features 3 incredible tracks that will all appear on the full length album, each one better than the last. From the emphatic drumming, to the face-melting licks, to the infectious vocals, to the immaculate production, this EP is truly outstanding. The only downside is that there’s only 3 tracks!
What is really impressive about this EP, is how well everything works together to create a fantastic end result. There are, of course, moments of individual brilliance on each instrument, the intro riff to Mutiny; the drumming in the bridge of Devil In Her Eye; but these are never to the detriment of the overall track. For example, as good as the initial incarnation of the main riff to Mutiny is, its full form is sacrificed for the verse to accommodate the vocals entering, and the space created by doing this, when combined with the infectious drum groove, takes the whole song to another level. It’s a sign of fantastic songwriting that is solemnly heard from such a young band, especially one without a full LP under their belt. They are able to incorporate the individual brilliance of each member and mould everything together to make a really incredible whole picture.
The textures created, and the ease of transitions between them showcase this tremendously. The verse for Devil In Her Eye, is actually made up of two contrasting sections; the first, a hard edged, staggered texture, and the second, a more heterophonic texture, featuring a memorable hook. These two interact majestically, seamlessly transitioning between one another, and it’s this that makes the verse standout. It features the awesome riff in there, but also creates a platform, for a diatonic, catchy melody alongside it. These melodies are what gives Chasing Dragons‘ their identifiable sound, and really captivate the audience; and the band have taken every opportunity to showcase them.
Passionate and powerful throughout, Tank manages to take the awesome music to whole other level, providing the icing to an already ridiculously delicious cake. Her vocal melodies are infectious throughout, and are well complemented by counter melodies on the guitars or synths in choruses, further demonstrating the earlier points. The chorus to Devil In Her Eyes probably has the most infectious hook of the year so far. It’s ridiculously catchy, and the stop that hangs perfectly, just gives it that extra impact! Describing it does how good it is a massive injustice. Impressively, for the breakdown in Whitehorse, Tank demonstrates a softer side to her vocals in a couple of track as well, delivering her vocals with such incredible, raw emotion. The connection Tank has to the lyrics is clear to see, and it adds another dimension to the music, helps bring the lyrics to life, and creates an even stronger relationship with the audience. The passion from the whole band is audible in the performance; it sounds like they’re having fun writing and recording these tracks, and that’s an invaluable asset, that many bands lack
Overall, Faction: Prologue is fantastic, demonstrating an ability far above Chasing Dragons‘ current reputation and standing. Everything about the EP is brilliant; the music is technical and intricate but not overdone, utilising just the right amount to keep everything exciting and interesting without detracting from the songs themselves. The hooks are infectiously catchy, the best I’ve heard without being too cheesy in a long while. Finally, the band’s passion, togetherness and drive is evident in everything on the record, giving the whole record that sense of excitement when you listen to it. This creates a real connection between the band and the audience. Chasing Dragons should be very proud of this highly accomplished effort, and hopefully it will earn the tremendous acclaim it deserves. If this is a sign of what’s to follow on Faction, I am incredibly excited!
The EP is set for release March 29th, and can be pre-ordered from Chasing Dragon’s official online store – http://chasingdragons.bigcartel.com/
You can find Chasing Dragons online in the following places: