Evolve

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Band Name Chelsea Grin
Album Name Evolve
Type EP
Erscheinungsdatum 19 Juni 2012
Produced by Jason Suecof
Musik GenreDeathcore
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Tracklist

1. The Second Coming 04:40
2. Lilith 04:01
3. S.H.O.T. 03:23
4. Confession 03:29
5. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell 05:21
Bonustrack (Physical Version)
6. The Human Condition (Remix) 04:05
Total playing time 20:53


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Review @ Crinn

30 Juli 2012

Oh please the horror! The bloody horror!! Make it stop! Make it stop PLEASE!

Well, Chelsea Grin is back again with another release. This time it’s a 5-song EP titled “Evolve”. Before I listened to the teaser, I was hoping that the title was implying that they had Evolved their sound and changed since the My Damnation atrocity (my ears are permanently scarred from reviewing that record). Going to the point of being worse than Emmure, Chelsea Grin started out at a fairly average point by releasing a mediocre EP and a mediocre, but promising full-length debut. This debut was followed by one of the single WORST deathcore albums in history, but if you want to see my thoughts on My Damnation, just read the review I wrote on it. I’m here to talk about the brand new EP that was released just a month or two ago. How bad will my ears be hurting this time? Will they even hurt at all? I’ve already heard the album teaser, so there’s no point in trying to get my hopes up at all because the teaser alone was hard enough to listen to, and that was just 30-second clips of each of the FIVE tracks!

The album cover is intentionally similar to the cover of their Self-Titled EP, which consists of a face that has a freshly-cut “Chelsea Grin”. I’m not letting the cover influence my opinion on the record itself (although it wouldn’t make my opinion any more positive if I did), but this album cover SUCKS! Yes, the cover of your Self-Titled EP was 100% appropriate and I wouldn’t have chosen any other album cover, but this is an embarrassment to visual art! On top of that, the logo has been squished in order to put the record title right above it (why? I don’t know) without blocking the face (which it kind of does anyway). But enough of me bitching about the artwork, let’s just get this thing over with.

Usually I do a track-by-track review with EPs, but even I, Crinn, am not strong enough to be able to dissect and analyze each track with great detail and make it out alive or with the ability to hear. The first thing that I’m noticing is that Chelsea Grin is deciding to take on the recent trend of implementing symphonic and orchestral elements into their music, which was pioneered by Winds of Plague. Then, we also have a HUGE increase in the number of breakdowns in each song (averaging at about…4-6 breakdowns per song).

I can SORT OF see what they’re trying to do, but when you look at it from an overall perspective, what each musician is trying to do is very confusing and doesn’t match-up when put back together. The guitarists seem to have completely lost focus. They’re looking to be more progressive and “avant-garde” than good, which is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard of because you can’t just try to be progressive and have it end up well. Do you think that THE ONLY thing on the minds of Iwrestledabearonce was being fast, random, and technical? No! Iwrestledabearonce still shows a shitload of focus on song structure, skill, being tight, and solid performance. Once they get that down, THEN they start doing stuff like wearing cowboy hats and giving songs names like Karate Nipples. Chelsea Grin just do what’s already second nature to them (deathcore) and are making honest attempts at being progressive and FAILING MISERABLY AT IT!

Thankfully, the vocals aren’t as loud as they were in My Damnation, but even then, that isn’t really saying much. The drums are a little bit better, but they still don’t even have enough color or catchiness to them to keep me awake. Everything besides the atrocious attempts at melody, singing (yes, singing), and atmosphere seems to just be outright BORING! There isn’t any taste to this record at all! This EP IS HORRIBLE! DO NOT BUY THIS! There is nothing you haven’t heard before on this record, and everything on here that you haven’t heard before is better left untouched and forgotten. I would give this record 1/20.

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VesselsOfBlood - 30 Juli 2012: So far, the only song I've actually listened to is "Lilith." The music itself is more solid than before, but the clean singing feels like it was just thrown in there...
JoeyDays - 12 Oktober 2012: Dumbest review ever.
Razorblast - 14 Dezember 2012: Come on, look at the shitty video clip of "ask don't tell" and tell me that they haven't turned wrong. Just listen to the first EP (which is the only deathcore stuff that I listen 'cause I just can't bare the entire deathcore trend) just listen and compare.
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Review @ Longlivesalad16

01 Januar 2013

Different but good

This is my first review, so I apologize for any mistakes. I decided to write this review because Chelsea Grin is one of my favorite bands, and because the one other review for this EP. I respect Crinn, and I actually think he has written some fantastic reviews for some other albums, but I found this one a little harsh. I thought I'd give people two opinions on this album.

So to the review. If you are a big fan of the older CG (Chelsea Grin EP, Desolation of Eden) and don't like My Damnation, you most likely won't like this EP very much. Alex's vocals are a tad different from My Damnation. His highs are better, but his vocals still aren't the same as they were during their first two releases. Many people say that Alex f**ked his voice up, or his jaw being broken messed up his vocals. Those are both possibilities, but I think he changed his vocal style by choice. I have seen them live, and he can still play songs like "Recreant" and "The Human Condition" and sound the way he did before. I personally like the new vocals, they have more emotion. Another thing that's different with the vocals is that he does cleans. In "Lilith" the chorus is all cleans, and in "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" there are some cleans here and there. It gives the album a sound that I like, and they didn't overuse it, so that's a plus.

Enough about the vocals though (That's kind of what I focus on the most in music). Now I shall talk about the rest of the music. Something new in this EP was the use of computerized sounds. Like it wasn't dub step or anything. It sounded like mostly string instruments, like violin and stuff like that. I thought it was pretty cool. Another thing that I noticed was less "chugging" guitars. The guitar parts were more complex from what I heard. I think it was because they were trying to change up their style after they got the new guitarist. The drums never really stuck out to me, but there was nothing wrong with them.

I would like it if they came out with more material that is like their older style, but someone made a point saying that old CG sounded like a few other deathcore bands. New CG is more original. Maybe a mix of both? I don't know how that would be done. So, there you go. My review on this album would be a 16/20. That being because the sounds kind of blend together, they don't really stand out from each other. So that's my review. Enjoy!

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Review @ Satanicarchangel

18 Mai 2013

Keyboards don't make it good

Credit's where credit's due and Chelsea Grin have no doubt improved and matured their sound. The added use of keyboards and symphonic elements add much more depth and atmosphere to the tracks creating a fairly lush and vivid sound. The symphonic elements make this midly interesting and the way in which they are used allows for some elements that could perhaps work. But that's really all there is that is going to even remotely touch praise in this review.

Evolve has Evolved what exactly? Chelsea Grin still suffer from one major flaw, and that's that the music gets tiresome and boring;fast. Evolve has to be the most unmemorable album I've ever listened to and therefore makes this review one of the hardest I've ever had to do. It's difficult to find something to lavish praise upon or to criticise when the whole affair floats past you without leaving much of an effect. The whole thing is so unmemorable that I constantly have to refresh my memory of it because the music just doesn't stick with me. There's just nothing at all, no drive, no passion, no hooks, no message, there's nothing that captured my interest and nothing that captivated me in anyway, it goes way past the realm of being unspectacular to just being nothing at all.

The guitars are just there really, they don't really do anything special with the exception of some riffs which are quite nice but don't leave a lasting impression. Some of the solos sound decent enough but like I said before, they don't really mean anything because they aren't interesting enough. The breakdowns feel really watered down and sterile and it isn't helped by the fact that there's several per song, it renders the whole ordeal an incredibly taxing listen and listening to it feels more like an endurance test rather than anything else. Bass is pretty much inaudible so I can't comment on that and drums are fine for what they do.

Vocally this album is a mixed bag, the growls are adequate enough, but that's really it, I can't really praise or complain about them because they do their job just fine. But the highs are really what kill it for me, he sounds like he's trying to impersonate Varg Vikernes throughout and his voice simply can't do it. What we get is a really annoying, whining shriek that sounds ridiculously feline and bitchy. And let's not forget the dismal vocal performance in Don't Ask, Don't Tell, his voice seems to lose the pitch it had before and it sounds like he's trying to impersonate Ollie Sykes which is definitely something I don't approve of.

I can see that they're trying to be progressive and to push the boundaries of the deathcore genre but when you look at it they're still bound by the same old, boring clichés of the genre such as numerous banal breakdowns and formulaic and repetitive song structures. Even with the added symphonic elements it still feels very narrow and limited, the keyboards despite adding something a bit more interesting to their sound doesn't really do anything else since the band are still adhering to the deathcore. I can tell the keyboards were added to try and to create a sense of atmospheric depth but when you've got deathcore this formulaic and boring the atmosphere falls flat. Where other bands come at you with the force of a tidal wave, Chelsea Grin trickles by like the sparse remains of long past rain in the gutter. I can't imagine anyone finding anything interesting here unless you're the sort of person who finds canned bread exciting, then Evolve would be like sky diving without a parachute whilst injecting pure adrenaline into your eyeballs.

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