Chrome Waves - A Grief Observed

Band- Chrome Waves

Album- A Grief Observed

Genre- Post/Alt metal

Label- Disorder Recordings

Location- Chicago, IL

FFO- Abigail Williams, The Atlas Moth, Wolvhammer

Overall production on this record is ok at best. I found it hard to hear everything clearly without the drums and vocals taking over. Guitars and bass at times were non existent, not because they were not there but because the drums were ever so louder. But that being said, I enjoyed the drumming of Bob Fouts (ex The Gates of Slumber). Bringing in this very light and slow tempo 1,2,1,2 sound at times. But then slamming down this heavy double bass that pounds into your heart. Another drummer you uses the simple approach and makes it work. The guitars are quite good, when I can hear them. Very black metal inspired guitars, with fast up and down strumming. Sounding very dark and eerie.

Vocal work is split between guitarists Jeff Wilson and James Benson. Majority of the vocals are piercing black metal style vocals. Screams that will make the paint peel off the walls, in a good way of course. The Chorus’s use very operatic/gang vocals that again use a very doomy/black approach.

Now their overall sound, although unique, isn’t the most exciting. I really loved the use of black metal screams but the clean gang vocals left much to be desired. I personally haven’t heard anything like Chrome Waves, but I am still not sure its my cup of tea. Out of the 6 songs on the album, I only really noticed something different in the opening track “Burdened”. Had very calm sounding music which lures your mind into a false sense of relax and then hits you with the piercing vocals. Something I really enjoyed. But then the rest of album sounds very similar and doesn’t do much shy away from the previous song.

Chrome Waves brings a different sound to the metal world and I believe that everyone should give them a listen. Am I a fan? Eh. I am sure there is a perfect moment to listen to “A Grief Observed” but I am not sure when it would be. Driving home from work is not, while maybe sitting back and relaxing at home could be. It isn’t a pump you up kind of music but a get a relaxed kind of metal it is. I believe it’ll be up to the listeners to decide if they are a fan or not. Unique overall sound yes, but I feel like it’s missing something. They hit home on a lot but also miss the mark a few times as well. “A Grief Observed” drops March 1st on Disorder Recordings.

rating: 7 out of 10

strongest song: “Burdened”

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