Review of the Week: Chiodos “Illuminaudio”

By Nick LaRosa
October 20, 2010

Post-hardcore band Chiodos released their third album “Illuminaudio” on Tuesday, Oct. 5.  The album, which was the band’s first release since 2007, debuted at the No. 37 spot on the Billboard 200 top albums chart.

While “Illuminaudio” maintains the band’s signature sound, it does feature one major change: a new lead vocalist.

Brandon Bolmer, who previously provided vocals for the band Yesterdays Rising, was named the new vocalist of Chiodos on Feb. 11, 2010.  He replaced former vocalist Craig Owens, who was let go from the band in late 2009.

The departure of Owens was met with scrutiny by many fans of the band and questions swirled about how the band would fare without Owens.

“With ‘Illuminaudio,’ their third release on Equal Vision Records, it’s clear that they’ve moved on and are setting their sights on bigger things than ever,” Thomas Nassiff, who reviewed the album for AbsolutePunk, said.

Nassiff is right on with his review for the album.  The band’s creative sound flows much better with Bolmer as vocalist, and every track on the album is equally strong, yet contrasting enough to have its own identity.

The album begins with the self-titled track “Illuminaudio,” a slow yet powerful introduction to an album that will give listeners an unforgettable experience.

The second track “Caves” can be looked at as one of the strongest songs on the album, along with “Modern Wolf Hair” and “Scaremonger.”  For new fans of the band, do not be alarmed by some of the track titles on this album.  Chiodos have certainly been known to feature creative and sometimes wacky song titles on their albums.

“Caves” starts off with heavy drumming and progressively gives way to Bolmer’s passionate screams and vocals, much to the delight of past fans of the band.

The track “Modern Wolf Hair” is both attention grabbing and unique in the way its lyrics tell a story  about being hunted down by wolves and seeking a place to hide.  “Scaremonger” features a quicker pace than other tracks on the album and Bolmer emphasizes high-pitched vocals rather than screaming throughout most of the song.

The ending of “Scaremonger” is essentially a preview of the next track, “His Story Repeats Itself,” which repeats the ending sequence of “Scaremonger” several times over the course of the first few minutes of the song.

The 12th and final track on the album “Closed Eyes Still Look Forward” is lyrically identical to the opener “Illuminaudio.”  The only difference is a quicker pace and more instrumentals, plus a powerful piano ending that can be viewed as the closing curtain to the act known as “Illuminaudio.”

Nassiff gave the album a five-star rating and praised the band’s decision to release several tracks prior to the album’s release, saying “they have slowly won listeners over by releasing a few songs off the new album.”  Two of those pre-released tracks were “Love is a Cat From Hell” and “Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together.”

“Illuminaudio” is an album full of energy and passion.  Fans of Chiodos and post-hardcore music in general will certainly be impressed by the sound that the band put forth in this album.

For those who became disheartened when Owens was let go last year, give this band another chance.  They are still as capable as they were before to produce a quality album with jaw-dropping vocals and lyrics.

Chiodos is on the rise and looking to reemerge at the top of the post-hardcore scene.  With the introduction of new vocalist Brandon Bolmer and the release of the 12-track masterpiece known as “Illuminaudio,” that goal shouldn’t be too out of reach.

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Nick LaRosa

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