Absurd song titles aside, the progression shown on the last two tracks from Chiodos was encouraging; both “Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together” and “Modern Wolf Hair” showed that the band will succeed with new vocalist Brandon Bolmer at the helm. As strong as those tracks are, it’s “Love Is A Cat From Hell” that should cement Illuminaudio as an album to own.
We’ve been so focused on analyzing Bolmer’s contributions that the other talent in Chiodos has gone without praise. With “Love Is A Cat From Hell,” the rest of the band reminds us that the talent is widespread. Jason Hale finally gets a chance to shine here, introing the song with a noodly lead line before transitioning to his signature style for a powerful verse. Equally important to the track is new drummer Tanner Wayne, serving as the backbone for the track; it’s his driving double bass work and tasteful fills that seal the deal here. As if the track needed any extra kick, Pierce The Veil‘s Vic Fuentes adds guest backing vocals that work perfectly with Bolmer.
Any questions regarding Bolmer’s legitimacy should be thrown to the wayside. As with the previous two songs, he shows tremendous talents vocally and melodically here. Though I’d call this track the most similar so far to old Chiodos, he makes it his own from both his clean and screamed vocals. Some listeners might still waver on who’s more talented between Bolmer and former vocalist Craig Owens, but one thing is clear: Brandon is a far superior screamer. After hearing both singers recorded and live, there’s no question.
Everything concludes with soft piano and a beautiful falsetto from Bolmer. No post-hardcore act has employed falsetto as much over the years as Chiodos, and this record will be no exception.
After hearing the three new Illuminaudio tracks, I can safely say I believe the new Chiodos record will be killer. The quality has improved with each released track in both originality and musicianship. I’m getting goosebumps at the potential.
Illuminaudio releases October 5 via Equal Vision Records.