MARCH 12th 2013

Review by Anka

Chariots of the Gods is another example of Canadian metal that might surprise with a sound that is not very typical for this metal scene. The band hailing from Ottawa is relatively new around here but it looks like it’s springing into serious action with the release of the full length “Tides of War”, following the release of a debut EP three years ago. Its melodic death metal with thrash and metalcore influences is a pleasant combo that sounds both European and American. If you wonder how this is different, well I think there’s a better melodic component on this release than on most similar releases and altogether it sounds really solid; although on the metalcore side the market is oversaturated, this band can mostly be classified as melodic death metal so hopefully there is more appeal to this. They are very aggressive and very melodic at the same time, something not many bands manage to pull off. 

While at a first listen I was slightly annoyed by the predictability of the tunes (I could easily guess where each song was going both rhythmically and harmonically) I admit I got over it quickly. Even if some might call this formulaic, it’s not a bad thing as the focus here is on the contents not the structure.  Yes it might sound safe to some degree, but there’s a lot of goodness that can’t be overlooked.

After the quite epic and dark intro, the album gets better and better with each song. The 10 tracks are being continuously carried out at a fast pace with precision and explosive energy. This is melodic death metal with modern thrash elements which intensify the speed, and metalcore elements which boost up the melody. It’s so melodic that it's hard to ignore, but at the same time it’s furious, incisive, and intense. There’s just a good feel all over, it gets you going and headbanging.  The guitars carry the melodies beautifully without abusing the metalcore breakdowns, the drums gallop relentlessly while the vocals tell stories of war fiercely.

I also liked the atmospheric acoustic passages and song intros, they break the pace, they surprise and they sound incredibly good.  There’s some acoustic guitar and piano, and here you’ll understand why this is a surprise -  after all you’d think you’re listening to a never-ending, punishing death metal release. These are unexpected moments, not always solidly linked to the songs but they do have their role in the whole.
Songs to remember: Tides of War, Ambrosian Wings, Revillusion (1905), Snow Falls on the White River (1914)

Overall, good effort, lots of talent, and while I haven’t become a huge fan of the band listening to “Tides of War” I still think it's a pleasant, easy listen that sparks interest. Generally it doesn’t break any boundaries but this is a good album with good production, and it comes from a Canadian band worth keeping an eye on.