Well, Bolmer sounds great. It’s the rest of Chiodos that comes into question with the release of their first new track, “Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together.”
With “Those Who Slay Together, Slay Together,” new singer Brandon Bolmer shows his versatility. He effortlessly floats his way over the soft sections, viciously screams his way through the bridge and delivers a dynamite sing-along chorus that should have people moving at shows. Though I was on the fence after seeing the new line-up perform twice, this track proves that it won’t be Bolmer’s fault if the marriage fails.
An adjective rarely associated with Chiodos comes into play here: generic. The world had a love/hate relationship with the Craig Owens-led albums, rarely having anyone in the middle ground. Gone is Owens’ unique melodies and delivery, and while Bolmer fills the void well, his bandmates must adapt. Craig could have arguably turned this track into a real showstopper, but Bolmer needs the band’s creative juices to flow. There is nothing wrong with the song; “Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together” is a solid, possibly-single worthy five minutes. But if the band wants to get the gripes about Owens away, their sound must mature. Now on their third full-length, progression is necessary if fans are to give Bolmer a chance. Simply delivering the same tracks they would have to Owens won’t cut it.
It’s a solid B. Maybe a B+ to some. I enjoy the track, but it lacks that something that claws at listeners. Repeat listens aren’t guaranteed because the song doesn’t provide the goosebumps or energy needed to become someone’s favorite song. While it’s a completely unfair comparison, I prefer the late-Owens-era leaked demo “Thermacare” to this.
I still have hope for the record. When Illuminaudio releases October 5, it will have its fair share of killer tracks. Bradley Bell’s keys, Jason Hale’s guitar and Tanner Wayne’s drums are all too strong to not produce top-notch music. In the Owens vs. Chiodos battle though, I still find myself wondering more about Craig’s new project than his old band.