Chain Collector - The Masquerade
Sound Riot Records
Melodic Death Metal
10 songs (47:31)
Release year: 2005
Chain Collector, Sound Riot Records
Reviewed by Ken

I first heard Chain Collector on their outstanding Forthcoming Addiction EP released in 2004. It was a melodic metal gem featuring the outstanding vocals of Green Carnation’s Kjetil Nordhus. Now the band boasts a strong cast of current and former members of Green Carnation, Trail Of Tears, Carpathian Forest, …In The Woods, and Dismal Euphony. When I first got a taste of The Masquerade before its release I was unimpressed. I heard modern melodic death metal and nothing of the catchy, melodious nature found on Forthcoming Addiction, the clean vocals seeming to have been overshadowed by prototypical melodic death metal screams; the complete opposite from Forthcoming Addiction.

However unimpressed I was by the clips from The Masquerade, the full songs have struck me in a different way. I firmly believe the more melodic nature of the debut EP suits this band better, but I can’t deny that The Masquerade is a solid album.

“Hierarchy Of Murder (Code Of Silence)” begins things in a frenetic fashion. The quick and choppy opening riff reminds me of a mix between Disturbed and some of the newer Soilwork material. The similarities to the former end there, however, and the song finds its rhythm firmly rooted in melodic death metal of days gone past, accentuated by a very catchy chorus. “Harvester” is a blistering, no frills melodic death metal track featuring a great cleanly-sung chorus. “Neverwhere” and “And Then There Was None” both mix a bit more groove than the previous tracks, but are no less hard-hitting.

“Crucifixion” is the first of the four tracks first featured on Forthcoming Addiction. The acoustic beginnings come off like a lost Green Carnation song, but quickly make way for a heavy, pounding groove with some slight electronic effects. The melodic death metal grunts intermingle beautifully with Nordhus’s ethereal vocals, all making for one outstanding tune; easily the best on the album. “Project Saviour” and “Tapping The Vein” come next; both, for the most part, are great, but suffer from some misguided half-spoken vocals mixed in throughout. The final triumvirate makes up the final songs borne from Forthcoming Addiction. “Fallen Angel” is largely a melodic death metal track with a somber chorus, subtle, but commanding. “Wicked Mask” is a groove-monster that is a bit left of the bull’s-eye compared to the EP version, but is still strong enough to brutalize. “Winter Princess,” on the other hand, beginning like Monster Magnet’s “Negasonic Teenage Warhead”, hits dead center with a perfect balance of melodiousness and brutality.

Chain Collector aren’t going to turn heads based on originality, but what they have, that other bands of this nature do not, is the commanding vocals of Kjetil Nordhus. Truly, he sets this band apart, albeit slightly, from the crowd. His unwavering, mellifluous and emotive vocals are unmatched in the metal field (see Green Carnation’s “The Acoustic Verses” for further proof) and offer a welcoming contrast to Svenn Aksel Henriksen’s (ex-Dismal Euphony) screams. The Masquerade is a potent melodic death metal release, powerful and melodious. I wish they would have stuck with the formula on Forthcoming Addiction, stronger on the melody, but The Masquerade, while not mind-blowing, surely does not disappoint.

The band has begun pre-production on the second full-length album, ten songs have been written so far. I look forward to hearing what the band comes up with this time out.

AUDIO: Harvester, Neverwhere, And Then There Was None and Crucifixion (Clips)

Note: In time these links will likely becoming outdated.

Killing Songs :
Harvester, Neverwhere, Crucifixion and Winter Princess
Ken quoted 75 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:44 pm
View and Post comments