Michigan band, Chiodos has been around for nearly a decade but their third album, Illuminaudio is their first with new singer, Brandon Bolmer. Some may know Bolmer as the original vocalist for Yesterday Rising or for his brief stint with Scary Kids Scaring Kids but lead singer of Chiodos should be his most high profile gig to date. But the inevitable question on Illuminaudio is how Chiodos’ new lead singer stacks up to the former face of the band, Craig Owens who was let go under strange circumstances.
The differences between Owens and Bolmer are subtle but present. Both have traditional screamo voices but Owens always reminded me of Taking Back Sunday‘s Adam Lazzara. He had a large vocal range with the ability to revert to a falsetto to hit some incredible high notes but for the most part his vocals had a little bit of a cocky feel to them. Bolmer is a different bag. His vocals are a little more understand; they remind me of Thursday‘s Geoff Rickly.
But that does not mean that his vocals are soft. After the album’s title track intro, “Caves” shows off exactly what fans can expect from Bolmer. The track starts off with some higher pitched vocals but not the annoying type of vocals that you hear in a lot of emo-core bandsl; these vocals are almost angelic. But the sweet vocals give way to a screamy chorus that shows off the band’s continued ferocity and passive/aggressive style.
But I’d be remiss if I just focused on vocals on the album. The truth is Jason Hale delivers some memorable guitar parts throughout the album. Perhaps none is more memorable than the Minus the Bear-esque tapping around the two minute mark on “Love Is a Cat From Hell”.
However there is a downside to the album. While I found things I liked in almost every song, I did not like every song on the album. The album gets a little too prog rock for me in some places and the best aspects of some songs get but a minute of exposure and then are lost. But that is really a small complaint on what really might be the best post-hardcore album I have listened to this year. I must admit I came into the album skeptical of Chiodos’ ability to transition from Owens to Bolmer with their integrity attached but they managed to do that and more on Illuminaudio.
MP3: Chiodos “Caves”