The Imperial Skies

I stumbled across this London duo while browsing the Facebook feed from fellow Brits, Dyscarnate  and after a few preview listens from the band’s page, immediately ordered a physical copy of the CD.  What we have here is a band that seems to initially cull from British metalcore act Sylosis, but adds a more epic, ambitious and progressive sound to metalcore tropes.

Look no further than 7+ minute opener ” I Will Reign Forever”. Chunky, metalcore riffage is injected with some busy melodies, some reflective atmospherics and even a kickass flamenco break and it makes for a fucking impressive opener. Some of the melodies and busy guitar work  through the track and the rest of the album as well as some of the vocal cadences recalled Shai Hulud, but a little more restrained. But Chapters pull their sound together confidently and deliver an album that belies the band’s relatively new status.

The rest of the tracks, which largely which largely follow the quality of the opener expose the band’s ambitious take on metalcore. Second  and shortest number, “The Siren” really enforces Shai Hulud slower moments with a controlled, emotive rumble after a delicate acoustic intro, while another longer standout, “March of the Puritan” delivers a sturdy thrashing lurch that has hints of Machine Head, mingled with some the aforementioned busier melodies and sudden acoustic tangents, making it the albums second best track. It’s when Chapters combine more elements where they truly stand out.

After acoustic interlude “Arising”, we are then treated to “An Ecliptic Circle” where Chapters really spread their wings, and despite only being three minutes, the gorgeous acoustics start the song and then some utterly enthralling violins and  female vocals (courtesy of Sian Sanderson)  kick in and the track segues epically into the title track which also features another section from Ms Sanderson and a some nice Woe of Tyrants-ish arpeggio shreddage to close it out. It’s a  brilliant two part companion piece and shows how ambitious Chapters are when adding all sorts of stuff to a  simple metalcore formula. Closer “Chapters” has a more urgent pace, but manages to deliver ample melodic shreddage amid the burly riffage. It adds to the quality of the opening track and the title track with  a nice string mid section and stirring, fun little gallop and dare I say, breakdown, to close out the track.

One of the more impressive metalcore debuts I’ve heard recently, even if metalcore is somewhat dead right now, Chapters have enough vision and creativity to give it a bit of a jolt and become a rising star in the UK scene, and hopefully the international scene. Are you reading this Siege of Amida Records? Oh and while you are at it , how about a repress of Dyscarnate’s album?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 6th, 2014


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