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Chariots Of The Gods: Ages Unsung

Three years ago Canada's Chariots Of The Gods announced their arrival with the guitar-lick-licious Tides Of War, a real accessible edge brought to a melodic death/thrash attack. Add in a slice of brooding atmosphere and it made for quite an introduction. Ages Unsung is the follow up, a slight change in path finding the formula smoothed somewhat, even if there's no doubt that this is still the same band with the same ethos. The result however is a little less individual or stand out from the crowd. Don't worry though, because it doesn't automatically follow that this album is a duffer, in fact far from it. With superb, frantic, yet sympathetic twin guitar work from Mathieu St-Amor and Rock Déziel, there's even a faint whiff of Dragonforce in there somewhere – but not in the same kiddie-cookie-cutter manner that band often slip into.

Opening with the classy, if a little long, intro "Primordial Dawn" sets the scene, the explosion of "Tusk" all the more forceful for the atmospheric beginnings – although if I was being super picky, then having "Tusk" also work through a lengthy introduction does leave you wondering when the songs will finally appear. Christian Therien's clean vocals may be somewhat of an acquired taste, the almost hair metal attack knocking you off balance, even if it does fit it surrounds perfectly. Personally I've grown to really enjoy his slightly different approach, yet I've no doubt some will hate it. The album ebbs and flows cleverly, the chiming opening to "Of Prometheus And The Sacred Flame" offsetting the heaviness that proceeded it but when the (admittedly, expected) hammer hit of guitar and drums rains down, it doesn't half smash the track into being.

From there, if you've liked what's come before, then you'll continue to be impressed by the throaty gargles counterpointed by layered clean singing on "War Of Gods", the careening pulse of "As The Sky Falls" and more straight up metal hit of "Resurrection". Pascal Jobin from The Agonist shows up for "Into Oblivion", his contribution a welcome one, however with "New World" a considered tinderbox of pent up and then released aggression and the album's title track a mid-paced stomper that once again illustrates the clever use of guitars – both stabbing lead and chugging rhythm – Ages Unsung quickly rewards your time. This second album may not expand on the band's debut effort in the way many expected, or possibly even hoped for. However by utilising a more standard approach what Chariots Of The Gods have done is cement their place as real contenders. Where they go from here should be very interesting indeed.

Track Listing
1. Primordial dawn
2. Tusk
3. Of Prometheus and the sacred flame
4. War of the Gods
5. As the sky falls
6. Resurrection
7. Through darkness and decay
8. Into oblivion
9. New World
10. Ages Unsung

Added: December 10th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Chariots Of The Gods on bandcamp
Hits: 1483
Language: english

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