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Chariots of the Gods - "Tides of War" (CD)

Chariots of the Gods - "Tides of War" CD cover image

"Tides of War" track listing:

1. Overture (1:18)
2. Seventh Weapon (3:20)
3. Blind Assassin (3:43)
4. Ambrosian Wings (4:14)
5. Tides of War (3:20)
6. Revillusion (1905) (4:26)
7. Snow Falls On The White River (1914) (1:38)
8. Severing The Bloodline (1917) (3:31)
9. Collapse of An Empire (6:13)
10. Red Skies (3:10)
11. Nebula (0:58)
12. Starborn (3:23)
13. Unbound (3:53)
14. Annihilation of The Gods (4:45)

Reviewed by on January 9, 2013

"There’s a lot on 'Tides of War' to pique the interest of either thrash or melodic death metal fans, and the non-stop galloping guitar sound is an impressive display of what the underground can achieve."

There’s been a really solid group of up-and-coming acts developing out of Canada in the last few years who haven’t managed to hook up with the major labels yet. Among this group of the runner-ups keeping the underground metal scene alive is Chariots of the Gods, offering a melodic death metal sound that jumps the tracks and hops on the thrash train. The band is now bringing on the “Tides of War” with an assault of refined and melodic aggression.

This is an album that’s laser-focused on the guitar play – it’s all about the riffage and the solos. To compare with other acts, “Tides of War” is essentially a thrashier Children of Bodom without the keyboards. The vocals depart from the melodic death metal sound however, being sort of like a gang shout, but delivered a bit harsher. It’s overall a little different than the norm for either death or thrash, but unfortunately, there’s not much range or variation going on, with the exception of some actual gang chants that show up here and there.

Nearly all of the 14 tracks are constant and relentless on the heaviness and aggression, with only a couple of breaks present to spice it up. There’s an acoustic outro of the final track for a softer finish, along with atmospheric guitars and piano playing in the interlude “Snow Falls on the White River (1914).” The interlude is an interesting side trek, although the piano bit is perhaps too soft and doesn’t seem to have much connection musically to the heavy song immediately following it.

As far as new talent in the metal world goes, you could do a lot worse than getting acquainted with Chariots of the Gods. There’s a lot on “Tides of War” to pique the interest of either thrash or melodic death metal fans, and the non-stop galloping guitar sound is an impressive display of what the underground can achieve. Now if only more people were listening…

Highs: Melody and aggression together in a thrash/death metal assault.

Lows: There isn't much variety in the vocals, and the interlude track is interesting but not a slam-dunk.

Bottom line: The Canadian underground sees a rising new name that combines the blistering guitars of thrash and the overall feel of melodic death metal.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)