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Full Blown Chaos - "Full Blown Chaos" (CD)

Full Blown Chaos - "Full Blown Chaos" CD cover image

"Full Blown Chaos" track listing:

1. Doomageddon (3:00)
2. Villains (3:01)
3. Rise & Conquer (3:20)
4. The Walking Dead (2:48)
5. Silence is Golden (3:40)
6. Die Like You Live (3:10)
7. Gravedigger (4:03)
8. Gutter Mouth (3:16)
9. War Machine (3:28)
10. Battle Hymns and Broken Bones (3:02)
11. C.O.B.R.A. (2:39)
12. Cain Marko (3:11)
13. The Path I Walk (3:57)

Reviewed by on January 6, 2011

"Full Blown Chaos released its first EP in 2001 when all things ‘core were fresh, and the band admirably isn’t running from it now. But ultimately this is the entire problem with the band’s upcoming self titled full length – it just sounds tired."

The most derided sub-genre in heavy metal today is, of course, metalcore. It was groundbreaking just a few years ago, but now it is metal’s whipping boy. It is hard to say why, as good metalcore can still be pants-ripping awesome, but bands are still running from breakdowns like alcoholics run from apple juice. So it’s humorous to read in the press materials that Full Blown Chaos is “pummeling crowds with their breakdown laden heavy hardcore.” Hmmmm, sounds familiar. If we combine hardcore and heavy metal, we get… wait for it… metalcore!

It isn’t surprising that Ironclad Recordings would use a clever turn of phrase, as you can take the boy out of Metalcore-opolis, but you can’t take metalcore out of the boy. Full Blown Chaos released its first EP in 2001 when all things ‘core were fresh, and the band admirably isn’t running from it now. But ultimately this is the entire problem with the band’s upcoming self titled full length – it just sounds tired.

Now, like I said, many tattooed fist bumps for sticking with the girl they came with, but there isn’t anything here to make me stand up and say “awesome!” Vocalist Ray Mazzola shouts and yells furiously against society, guitarists Mike Facci and Mark Gumbrecht pound out chunky riff after chunky riff, and the rhythm section happily comes along for the ride. More tattooed fist bumps for avoiding traps: there is no good cop anywhere in sight, the music leans hardcore, and solos and layered anthmic leads are placed in limited strategic locations only. But with those things come a lack of hooks or anything to grab as we drown in the morass of downtuned yell-riff.

That all seems like it would make for a promising listen, but there isn’t anything here pushing anyone to do anything except sit in unexcited acceptance that, yes, this is metalcore. In a genre that is more clichéd than a Texan wearing a cowboy hat we need something beyond riffs, shouts, and breakdowns.

Solution .45 tried its hand at an almost sixteen-minute metalcore-prog epic, and love it or hate it, you have to believe it. Even The Autumn Offering gets credit for trying to put more death metal into its ‘core mix. But what do we get with Full Blown Chaos? Some sub-genre old-schoolers that refuse to change with the times. At all. Credit for staying troo in a heavy metal world that demands troo-ness, but Full Blown Chaos’ fifth studio album is the equivalent of the crotchety old man upstairs complaining about “music these days” while listening to a Carl Perkins record.

Highs: The intermittent solos give a good melodic touch.

Lows: The drumming and bass are very straight forward stuff.

Bottom line: Metalcore veterans that mistakenly don’t do anything different.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 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)