Review: Chasing Dragons – ‘Faction’

“debut album?… really?” moments. ‘Faction: Prologue’ was a short, sharp introduction to Chasing Dragons, and succeeded in leaving the listener looking for more. Four young individuals who had pigeonholers trying to fit a square peg into a round hole; classic yet modern. ‘Faction’ continues this, so don’t worry about genres. All you need to know is that it kicks like a mule (or a dragon) wearing a cock-ring three sizes too small. There are so many twists and turns on the album, a prime example being the magical ‘This Time Is Ours’. You could be forgiven for thinking that this was gearing up for classic ‘power ballad’ material. The metronomic precision drumming from Kate, the smoothest of guitar sounds from Adam… then, just as you are expecting the big standing-atop-a-clifftop ‘November Rain’ moment, the band change tack with galloping guitars and drums. Totally unexpected. The vocals from Tank are stunning. Showing great restraint, she delivers a mature, powerhouse performance where her quieter vocals really stand out. But before ‘This Time Is Ours’ serves as the classic “mid-album epic”, there are plenty of “hell-yeah” moments. ‘Factionless’ works very well as an intro to the album. The atmospheric keyboards are highly effective and help make the track a killer way to start a gig. ‘How The World Went Black’ has some cracking bottom end on it, with Murf providing the four-string action. The end result is pounding, but the stop-what-you-are-doing-and-pay-attention moment is the chilled Gilmour-esque guitar work halfway through, followed by some guttural screams. Love it! Classic meets modern on ‘Parasite’, which contains a standout drum sound from the ever-impressive Kate. Again, there are multiple twists, and like much of the album, the listener is unaware of what is coming. Two of the bangers on the album are paired together. ‘Like Gravity’ could be what it would sound like if P!nk fronted a metal band. If you have ever caught P!nk in concert, especially where she totally nails ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, you would know that comment is not a slight at all. Then there is the speed of ‘Bareknuckle Lover’. Direct or not, the melodic guitar intro shows exactly how much an influence Maiden still are. Chasing Dragons twist things around again as the song progresses, this time with some groove metal riffs coupled with an ultra-catchy chorus and Maria Brink-like whispered vocals. The quality doesn’t let up during the latter stages of the album, with ‘The Connection’ being a real head-spinner. Similar to ‘This Time Is Ours’ in the regard that after a quieter, atmospheric intro, Chasing Dragons steamroller in with an almighty all-hell-breaking-loose attitude, but the song never gets away from them and develops into something that gets larger with each listen. ‘I’m No Devil (I’m Just A Girl)’ is one of those rare moments; a heavy song that is also really catchy. Ending on the pulverising ‘We Are The Wall’, this is a very strong debut album from a young band that could easily open for a multitude of bands during the hectic end of year gig calendar. The best fit perhaps might be the Sevendust dates in December. That would be a killer gig. Available now, more information on how to purchase ‘Faction’ here, or pick it up at one of the gigs listed on the tour poster above. Review: Dave    ]]>

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