Fresh back from a small hiatus, Ottawa's Chariots of the Gods are back with new album, Ages Unsung. Releasing this Friday, the record was partially funded via a kickstarter / pre-order campaign (thank you video) which surpassed the goal of $3,000 and was recorded at The Grid with Montreal producer Chris Donaldson (Cryptopsy, The Agonist, Beyond Creation, Neuraxis). Another fun little fact: COTG are the first Canadian metal band to tour Cuba.
You want more classic-sounding metalcore? Coming right up. Chariots of the Gods nail that early All That Remains style. You know, before everything went to sh*t after The Fall Of Ideals. The guitars have the same focus on thrilling, harmonized hooks and the vocals a similar flair for dramatic cleans and fierce screams. Exhibit A would definitely be the chorus on “War of the Gods.” Throw in a little Killswitch Engage and a dash of As I Lay Dying and you’ve pretty much got the idea.
Now there is certainly room for improvement. Some of the cleans in particular come off as a little rough around the edges, especially in some of the earlier tracks. Also, the production could benefit from a bit more finesse. Still, this is a pretty solid debut. “Of Prometheus and the Sacred Flame,” “War of the Gods,” and “New World” all have some really killer hooks and great vocals that pulled me into it. I could do without the latter’s silly spoken word intro and I could swear that one solo is ripped from “Stairway to Heaven,” but even that doesn’t take away from the fact that these guys play well together.
Wrapping this all up, I am a fan of Ages Unsung. It’s not flawless, but even with all of the metalcore groups coming out of the woodwork through bandcamp and small labels, there are precious few that manage to pull of this exact feel. I grew into my own listening to albums like This Darkened Heart and Alive or Just Breathing, so I am always excited to come across any spiritual successors. Chariots of the Gods are a fun band backed by solid, passionate musicians. I hope they continue to carry the old flame into the future.