Chrysalis – Chrysalis

Chrysalis is a five-piece progressive gothic metal band out of California. I recently acquired their self-titled 2006 debut LP, which broadcasts a wide range of influences on this musical entity. Of course, playing with such a wide variety is always prone to difficulties when it comes to the synthesis of such disparate techniques into one form; but here, Chrysalis seems not to struggle with this issue. Instead, the flaws of Chrysalis seem to stem from which influences they choose to recognize.

First, the good. the music of Chrysalis, while accessible, is certainly unique. There’s a pretty even amount of metalcore, gothic metal and progressive metal at work here, and for the most part all these elements are tied together effectively, with complex song structure and instrumentation weaving gothic melodies over the highly rhythmic metalcore base. This creates music that is both simply propulsive and complexly structured, with numerous slayers sliding across each other and helping manufacture deeply multifaceted pieces. However, the music can actually stick together, and songs such as ‘Outspoken’ and ‘The Daylight Falls’ are both striking and effective in their delivery.

However, despite the bright points here, there are problems as well. The most fundamental and surprising one is the periodic drift into nu metal territory, particularly in the vocal department. ‘Serein’ is probably the most fundamental offender here, seriously sounding like a cast-off Taproot song at times more than the rest of the music here. While this might be more acceptable to other listeners, I find that sort of delivery rather odious as a whole. In addition to this, despite the natural variance of the music, the record does feel rather samey throughout; perhaps all the tracks are varying in the same way?

I’d say that Chrysalis has released a decent debut with their self-titled LP. Despite some rather questionable design decisions, I have no doubt that this is a record that would appeal to numerous metalheads out there today. It would only take the band excising the nu metal traits and bumping up the intensity to capture the ears of all of us.

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~ by noktorn on April 4, 2007.

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