Nov 2011 15

Chant - Strong Words for Strong PeopleChant
Category: Industrial Rock
Album: Strong Words for Strong People
Stars: 3
Blurb: The songwriting ability once again takes a backseat to the impressive percussion, although not as far back as before.


Bradley Bills has done rather well for himself. Ever since founding his tribal infused industrial project Chant, he’s gone onto perform alongside such luminaries of the scene as Ego Likeness, KMFDM, Pigface, Angelspit, and Die Krupps to name but a few. His 2007 album, That Which Divides saw Bills working with Martin Atkins in the production chair, unleashing an onslaught of percussive industrial rock that demonstrated Bills’ propensity for effective songwriting that unfortunately lacked much personality of its own apart from his influences. With Strong Words for Strong People, we find him struggling to push forward to define the Chant sound further.

Throughout the album, Bills demonstrates a powerful combination of industrialized percussion and electrified melodies; all cornerstones of Chant’s style. However, there is an even heavier emphasis on balancing the drumming with the songwriting, with songs like opener “Hope” and “Inject” playing with the mix of offbeat melodic hooks and atypical time signatures. Other songs go for the standard and straightforward 4/4 time, but even within songs like “Blood + Peace” and “Empty,” Bills makes it a point to push the beats further, playing complex patterns atop simplistic synth sequences and crunchy guitars for that added layer of progressive musicianship. On this latter track, and especially on the following track, “Revolt,” one can hear a bit of Neubauten’s influence on Bills as he beats and bashes washers and garage doors, turning any object into part of his musical arsenal. The whole album even begins with the sound of a metal grinder, while. “Alone” is a pure noise poem of mechanized sound and distant screams.

Once again, the songwriting is effective, though hardly noteworthy as the lyrics seem to be culled from the proverbial industrial rock handbook, touching on subjects of sociopolitical revolution and personal isolation, with the closing title track being the ultimate example with its slow tempo and morose atmosphere. With Chris Telkes of Nocturne and The Razorblade Dolls taking over production duties this time around, Strong Words for Strong People is certainly much more melodic and hook-laden than That Which Divides, and there does seem to be an appealingly dark chemistry between Telkes and Bills. Alas, this chemistry does little to elevate Chant’s music beyond simply being a spectacle for the percussion, which is rather impressive. Bradley Bills is not without talent, and he’s not unable to write a good song, but Strong Words for Strong People shows that there is still much work to be done for Chant to achieve the perfect balance between his instrumental and his musical skills.

Track list:

  1. Hope
  2. Empty
  3. Revolt
  4. Need
  5. Inject
  6. Everything
  7. Blood + Peace
  8. Alone
  9. Strong Words for Strong People

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Purchase at:
Amazon MP3


Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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