If you’re not a teenager, chances are you hadn’t heard of the Michigan-based post-hardcore act, Chiodos until a few weeks when they debuted at number five on the Billboard Top 200 charts. But despite their relatively young fanbase, Chiodos don’t pander: The music on their second full-length Bone Palace Ballet is remarkably mature, combining elements of hardcore, metalcore, and rock with symphonic flourishes and piano lines to create a symphony of destruction that’s as bone-crushing as it is beautiful.
On the album’s classically-tinged opener, “Is It Progression If a Cannibal Uses a Fork?” vocalist Craig Owens croons like Head Automatica frontman Daryl Palumbo one minute and screams like a possessed banshee the next, while guitarist Pat McManaman and Jason Hale weave a patchwork of swirling sounds that transpose de-tuned riffing with ambient atmospherics. This track is followed by “Lexington (Joey Pea-Pot with a Monkey Face),” which features swirling sonics and an arpeggiated piano-line, and “Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money, Pigs Gets Slaughtered,” a syncopated waltz with carefully calculated blasts of frenzied instrumentation.
This type of dynamic dichotomy (as well its unwieldy song titles) may define Bone Palace Ballet, but amazing it doesn’t constrain it. In fact, ironically one of the album’s most cathartic moments is the orchestral ballad “Intensity in Ten Cities,” which shows Owens baring his soul to a backdrop of violins and piano and proves that “emo” doesn’t have to rely on clichés or dress codes. Ultimately, when it’s done right, it’s simply called music.
To download a free MP3 of Chiodos's "Life Is a Perception of Your Own Reality," click here.