Full Blown Chaos
Heavy Lies the Crown

What’s the deal with that cover art? It leaves one wondering whether Full Blown Chaos now desire to be Manowar because with those lions, that ominous Conan clone poised in his throne, it instils that fear…and the record hasn’t even been placed in the CD player yet.

Fortunately ‘Fire Fight,’ firmly quashes any fears of the band ditching their leaden metallic hardcore in favour of rousing battle anthems about glory, honour and death. Not only is the song one of the longest the band has ever written, it is indicative of how much the band have grown since their self titled debut but affirms that potential maturity that was hinted on the preceding Within the Grasp of Titans.

Often with the predecessor it felt as though everything had been hastily cobbled together, great riffs were cut short, songs lacked depth or intricacy to make them worth revisiting and after a few gripping first spins its impact deadened each time there after. Now of course this band isn’t looking to write material that is bursting with a plethora of immeasurable complexities that require, in fact, demand the listener to listen. On the contrary Full Blown Chaos’s strength was (like their peers and brethren) to make tectonically charged skull crushing metallic hardcore that was heavy on impact. This simply didn’t happen on their previous record but Heavy Lies The Crown, addresses all those nagging discrepancies that hindered Within The Grasp Of Titans.

Take the triumvirate of ‘Halos for Heroes,’ ‘Fail Like A Champ,’ and the mighty title track, all are dripping with bright, crunching riffs, Mazzola’s gruff bark and pounding beats laid down by Jeff Facci. At the centre though are those riffs as Jeff’s brother Mike writes some of his best since ‘Prophet of Hostility.’ Most impressive though is how well the sound has assimilated itself and become holistic; Heavy Lies The Crown, is so above the jaded tough hardcore band playing metal with breakdowns in which the breakdowns serve as a protective canvas to mask how woefully average the metal is.

Not only does Full Blown Chaos fully prove their metal credentials (although not in that aforementioned Manowar manner) the breakdowns aren’t used for this purpose. Rather, they are so seamless, so intrinsic and resonate within the structure of the entire composition so that when they do hit they don’t become the memorable moment of the song.

The band triumphantly close the record with ‘Mojave Red,’ a two part, two track juxtaposition and exploration of melody and brutality, a real first for the band (who on part 1 have never been so tranquil) which lingers seductively for 4 odd minutes before being blasted away by part 2’s relentless barrage.

Of course the primary criticism that will arise towards this record is that nothing the band has done here is revolutionary, groundbreaking and all the other superlative critical criteria of the reviewing paradigm that scribes pander and adhere too. This is true, but when music is this well executed and with such conviction does it really matter if the band is groundbreaking?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Benjamin DeBlasi
September 23rd, 2007

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