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chILL - "In Your Spine" (Promo CD)

chILL - "In Your Spine" Promo CD cover image

"In Your Spine" track listing:

1. Madluck
2. Rotten Apples

Reviewed by on May 24, 2010

"Rantanen's vocals alternate between two different screaming styles, as well as melodic vocals, resulting in the strange feeling that there are three different vocalists on 'Madluck.'"

You have to admire chILL for trying to fuse a variety of sounds on the two-song "In Your Spine," which is intended to promote the band's next album. Unfortunately, the two tracks, though they show off the band's ability to play in different styles, come across quite disjointedly.

The disc is dedicated "to the loving memory of Kari 'Kaapo' Rasinpera," and the lyrics deal with "the loss of someone close," according to the press kit for the disc. Certainly, the better of the two tracks, "Rotten Apples," embraces that theme, as singer Jouni Rantanen sings, "I can't find much reason for this loss/It doesn't matter what I feel, you're forever gone." The song features Rantanen delivering everything from grunge rasp to death shouts, and music that ranges from fast metal to elegaic piano — in the space of seconds.

The other track, "Madluck," is more of a straight-ahead metal track with elements of grunge thrown in. Rantanen's vocals alternate between two different screaming styles, as well as melodic vocals, resulting in the strange feeling that there are three different vocalists on "Madluck." Unfortunately, Miska Rautianen's quickly changing guitar parts only add to the confusion, though somehow drummer Mika Rautianen manages to keep things from flying completely off the rails.

In honor of their fallen friend, the band has made this promo — art and all — available for free at their Web site, www.chILLinyourspine.com. You'll be able to judge for yourself whether you're in the market for a new chILL album — or their first one, "controlled chaos." As for me, I found the ambition in trying to fuse grunge with modern metal sounds on "In Your Spine" admirable, even if some of the results fell short of the mark.

Highs: "Rotten Apples"

Lows: There's a disjointed feeling to both tracks on this promo.

Bottom line: An ambitious attempt to fuse grunge and modern metal that falls short of the mark.

Rated 2.0 out of 5 skulls
2.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)