Two and a half years ago Chainfist were one of my first reviews on Planetmosh and they came as a wonderful surprise. No nonsense metal. A great debut. It’s great to see them back with that always tricky second album. Scarred, thankfully, delivers on all accounts and greatly raises the bar for the quality of music that Chainfist can produce.
Chainfist have taken the no-nonsense approach from their debut, applied it to Scarred and thrown in some damn fine flourishes and additional heavyness. The album has a real modern metal feel if you know what I mean. You can hear elements of the big four throughout, sitting alongside some huge riffs and melodies both vocally and guitar wise. The more I’ve been listening to this album the more, too, I hear the likes of Avenged Sevenfold coming through.
Album opener Scars of Time rips out of the starting blocks with Jackie Petersen reminding me of a cross between Death Angel’s Mark Osegueda and Anthrax’s Joey Belladonna in his pomp. Its driven attack bringing to mind Slayer before Petersen’s vocals remind you who you’re listening to. I’m highlighting some of these visible influences, but don’t for one minute think these guys are just copycat metalheads. Scars of Time sets you up with an expectation of the album that is fulfilled from track to track. 1,000 Ways to Bleed continues that driven attack with a middle eastern flavour and melody that calls to mind some of the work from debut album Black Out Sunday while Black Rebel Noise shows the band have a keen ear for the anthemic. It screams single release and has a huge chorus that I’m sure would bring the house down during any live show.
I talked earlier on about influences from the big four and with Another Day in Hell you could be kicking back and listening to Sanitarium. It has a haunting feel that’s very similar to the Metallica classic as it starts, before kicking into its groove and ripping your head off during its shredworthy solo section. It even calls to mind shades of Brit thrashers Onslaught in places too. It’s a track that really showcases Chainfist’s versatility on this album with a little bit of everything.
The album carries on in this manner through to the end. As you listen you’ll feel familiarity and comfort in what Chainfist throw at your ears. Everything about the band and the songs on this album should make any metalhead happy. Poison Moon throws out some brilliant vocal melodies and solo work backed by a real thrash drive while 10,000 is just a thumpingly awesome metal track. It’s another huge anthemic tune without the commercial edge of Black Rebel Noise and probably my favourite song on the album. It has such a chunky, grooving riff running through it that it just rawks. (sic)
Know Your Hate hits some pretty evil riffs before it kicks into a melodic materpiece that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Avenged Sevenfold album. The vocals continue to be an absolute standout, easily switching between aggressive control and soaring vocal harmonies. Seven Minutes of Pain likewise has some brilliant melodies throughout, although I’ve gotta say at just over 5mins long they missed a trick here!
It’s great to hear Chainfist back again. Scarred shows a band maturing their sound and style pretty damn perfectly. Granted, they aren’t bringing anything new to the table but quite frankly I couldn’t care less. This album is a huge step up from Black Out Sunday, it hits the absolute sweet spot for me. It’s metal played with passion, with drive, with melody, with power, with precission. It has a little bit of everything to satisfy everyone who loves their metal. You’ve set the bar mighty damn high for the third album guys!
Scarred is released on 1st October through Mighty Music
1. Scars of Time
2. 1,000 Ways to Bleed
3. Black Rebel Noise
4. Another Day in Hell
5. Poison Moon
7. Know Your Hate
8. Seven Minutes of Pain
10. Mass Frustration
11. Black Rebel Noise (acoustic)
Jackie Petersen – Vocals
Michael Kopietz – Guitar
Thomas Hvisel – Lead Guitar
Braca Pedersen – Bass
Jesper Heidelbach – Drums