THIS IS THE WORLD WE KNOW – SONG BY SONG
The Chant release their second album, "This Is The World We Know", on April 14 via Full Metal Music. The first single "New Reality” is currently available for streaming on the band's Myspace. The follow-up to the 2008 output "Ghostlines" was produced by Moonsorrow vocalist-bassist Ville Sorvali.
First of all, I need to say that I did not get to hear full songs but clips of each track of the album. Thus, my words can hardly do justice to song structures and arrangements. I therefore focus on my impressions when it comes to mood and melody, whereas The Chant members Jussi Hämäläinen (guitars) and Mari Jämbäck (keyboards, piano) share their own feelings towards the upcoming album.
1. "NEW REALITY"
The first single and quite a good choice for that. This pretty much is a moody, relaxed radio Rock song to me. Partly, vocalist Ilpo Paasela sounds like a singer of the Seattle-Grunge-Wave (when phrasing certain words), as well as the vocal line has something Anathema-ish to it.
Jussi: This song has very strong vocal melodies and there is a lot stuff going on with different vocals.
A midtempo song with a slight Alternative / Progressive twist, but not a really catchy or breathtaking tune. The piano, as simple and background-like it may be, is great and important. Then again, the vocal lines don't really "catch" me.
Jussi: Although the oldest song and thus the song we have played the most, this song has really lifted its profile. The chorus was very mellow to my ear at first, but now I really like it, partly because it is strongly built on the vocals, so there is a lot of space.
3. "NOVEMBER 1987"
Clean guitar melodies that carry a certain Alternative Rock vibe (Smashing Pumpkins etc.), nice piano patterns in the background and Ilpo sounding very soft and relaxed – one of my favourites! The song feels very natural and balanced to me.
Mari: This song is one option for the second single. The title of the album comes from one of the lines of this track. The tempo and the beat of the song were very different for a very long time and it didn't really feel right. As I know next to nothing about playing drums I had to hear some random song from the radio in order to say "this is what I want for this song". Luckily the guys caught up with my thoughts immediately after that.
4. "THE BLACK ASCENSION"
Atmospheric-wise, again Anathema come to mind in this slow, soft and moody tune. The chorus that is about to start seems a bit more powerful, but all in all, the melancholic and fragile mood dominates.
Jussi: I think we managed to capture a very sophisticated sound to this song and it sounds very professional to my ear. The song has a very melancholic vibe all around, it breathes very nicely and there is a beautiful outro in the end.
5. "WILL YOU FOLLOW"
Being a little dissonant and depressive and not poppy at all the harmonies in here remind of Katatonia's "Discouraged Ones" album. The mood in this song carries a certain discomfort, for sure.
Mari: This is one of my songs so I know the Katatonia vibes don't come from me. The guys did a lot of arrangements on this one, so maybe that is where it comes from. For me this song is lyric-wise one of the key pieces of the album. Unfortunately you haven't heard the whole song; it changes into a completely different song in the end. In the end of the song the character of "the light-bearer" is most concretely introduced.
6. "SAFE WORLD"
Finally, a more rocky tune! Staccato-riffing, a strong piano pattern and rhythmical vocal parts make this the rockiest song of the album so far.
Jussi: This is indeed the rockiest song on the album. On Ghostlines the rhythm guitars were quite monotonic and this song is the opposite of that. Nice key changes and arrangements. We always have a song on the album, in which everyone gets to sing, even the producer. On this album this is that song.
7. "COMMON PRICE"
Guitars remain in the background and a simple, but cool piano line unites with a spoken word part, leading into a typical The Chant chorus, that could have been included on the "Ghostlines" album as well. First impression does not make me think that this is the album's best track.
Mari: This is one of the older songs and that is probably where the Ghostlines vibe comes from. The lyrics are written by Ilpo and I like them a lot. This song has changed a lot and there was a time when I didn't care much for this track. Now it’s even one of my favourites. It was so much fun to do the pianos on this one.
Jussi: I totally agree with Mari. We spent a lot of time with the vocals on this one. There are a lot of backing vocals doing their own melodies and a lot of harmonic backing vocals, too. The song has some strong Metal vibes here and there, but the piano really makes a contrast to them, making the atmosphere soothing.
8. "ARMORED MAN"
At first, there is no Metal at all in this slow, relaxed tune. The spheric sound of the guitars and the dreamy vocal line create a rather hypnotic mood that reminds a lot of Anathema's latest album "A Natural Disaster". Towards the end of the clip, the song becomes more rhythmic and a bit rocky.
Jussi: The song combines different styles but I haven't heard anyone telling me that it reminds of Anathema yet. Nothing wrong with that impression though. The few people who have actually heard the song have rather see vibes from Silverchair and Muse, which was a bit of a surprise to me as well.
"Slow" and "relaxed" are the first keywords coming to my mind, but Ilpo sounds way more emotional in here, the song develops certain rocky dynamics, in terms of all instruments.
Jussi: This is the last song on the album because we wanted to leave an impression that there is still hope left. The chorus is based on two simultaneous vocal melodies.
In what I have listened to The Chant got almost entirely rid of their Metal roots. More than ever before, they rely on the atmospheric, ethereal parts of their sound. The mood they predominantly create with the new album is of a rather relaxed kind. Sure, there is melancholy in there, but not of the really depressive kind. A light kind of melancholy that is mostly delivered by Ilpo Paasela's voice. In fact, his vocals are much more in the center than on the debut album and sound more natural and personal to me. Whereas he reminded of Amorphis and Charon more than once two years ago he just sounds like himself, dropping the aggressive scream parts and concentrating on the expressions that suit his voice best. As I said before, I cannot judge song structures and arrangements on this album, but the mood and harmonies should please fans of bands such as Anathema, A Perfect Circle or even The Smashing Pumpkins. There is some Alternative Rock in here, some progressiveness, a slight poppiness - I would simply call it Atmospheric Rock. Turning away from aggression and a metallic sound The Chant sound more meaningful these days. I strongly recommend you to give this album a listen - this band pretty much has found its own style by now! And their songs either make you dream or feel harmonious - either way, they will not drag you down. At least not too much. There is a good balance between heavy-heartedness and hope in here…
The corresponding interview can be found here.
Last Updated (Thursday, 18 March 2010 14:12)
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