Friday, October 26, 2007

Review: Chiodos - Bone Palace Ballet

Label: Equal Vision Records

Released: September 4, 2007

After finding a fair amount of success with 2005's All's Well That Ends Well, Chiodos were in a position to coast safely into their next album. Instead, they chose to further break out of the emo-screamo scene that spawned them and follow their arena-sized prog-rock dreams.

Bone Palace Ballet has some leanings into the realm of the Mars Volta, primarily with Craig Owens' vocals, but they aren't quite so esoteric, staying rooted in things the common rock fan can get a handle on. Like My Chemical Romance, they have tried to push the boundaries of their own genre to something much bigger, drawing not only on the influences of hardcore and metal, but also the operatic nature of Queen and the jazz-rock of early Chicago, and they do it well. The songs seem longer than they are, not because they're tedious, but because they move outside of the standard rock song structure and an awful lot gets packed into each one. While they have expanded their sound and minimized their reliance on growling vocals, they have also become heavier, adding another layer of intensity. There are times when they lapse into the typical, but those moments are the exception as Bone Palace Ballet spends more time pushing the limits than adhering to them.

As the field of prog-influenced metal/hardcore/emo/screamo gets more and more crowded, Chiodos looks to be one that will stand above the masses and dictate rather than follow. Bone Palace Ballet is a significant step forward from the group's already challenging body of work.

Rating: 8/10



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