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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

The Chair

The Chair

Review by Gary Hill

Transubstans Records has a proven track record of bringing out new bands who have their musical hearts rooted firmly in classic rock. Well, The Chair are definitely one of those bands. This disc shares a lot with stoner rock and bands like Sleep and Clutch. I’d consider it metal, although there are exceptions to that rule. If you like killer retro based hard rock/metal, you’ll love this album. It’s familiar and yet fresh. You can find out more and order the disc from Record Heaven’s website.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
House
The cool riff that brings this one is about as classic retro as you can get. The band fire out into a smoking metal jam that would have been quite at home in 1976. The vocals also have a classic rock sound to them. There are some smoking metal passages on this track and we get an extremely tasty guitar solo, too. They reinvent this later in the piece, with a climax giving way to a more powered up version of itself. This thing really screams at times.

September
This is slower and meaner than the one that preceded it. If possible the riff that drives it is even tastier. In some ways this reminds me a bit of Clutch. The guitar solo on this is noisier and this at times calls to mind Sleep and the more modern proponents of stoner metal.
Slither
They don’t break any molds on this one but the riff that drives it is a chugging one that’s perhaps even more tasty than the sounds we’ve heard so far. There’s a cool little echoey presence on this track, too. It’s another slab of retro tinged metal that’s just plain killer.
Barn Burner
If Ted Nugent played actual metal it would probably sound a lot like this. You might also hear echoes of Montrose on this. Yeah, it’s that classic and that good. Noisy sounds eventually close this one out.
Sparkle
Less than a minute in length, this is a slab of backwards tracked weirdness.

Amp251
Extremely bluesy, this has a Mountain turns metal approach. Still, you will make out plenty of Sleep and Clutch on this track, as well. It’s very catchy and very tasty. I make out some old school Ozzy era Sabbath on this, too. Of course, Sabbath is really the root of all the stoner rock bands out there.
The Riff
This one purely pounds in. It’s the heaviest and most furious metal we’ve heard on the disc. This is a killer and perhaps the least retro of anything on show here. Of course, there is a Sabbath-like break on the tune. There are some cool percussion breaks on the tune. The faster paced jam later is very much in a Sabbath-vein. It’s also very cool. When they come back out the song proper it’s with a new vitality and power. This might well be my favorite track on show here.
Shamrock City
Somehow this reminds me a lot of “Even It Up” by Heart. At least that’s what the main riff makes me think of. The track has plenty of Clutch leanings beyond that and a real bluesy nature. There is a catchy chorus and this is one of the east metal songs on the disc. It’s more hard rock with a bit of a quirky nature. It gets a little weird at times and if there’s a misstep on the disc (and that’s questionable), this is it.

Winter Garden
The motif that leads this one off has a chiming acoustic guitar sort of sound amidst a spacey hard edged texture. The effect is sort of like Hawkwind meets Jane’s Addiction. It drops back to a stripped down hard rock sound for the verse. They throw in some progressive rock like material and this is really the tour-de-force. At almost eight minutes in length it’s the longest cut on show here. While the least metallic track here it’s also one of the coolest. They pull this through a number of changes, yet keep it pretty constant. It’s modern and yet rooted in classic retro rock. I don’t know if I’d consider it to be my favorite song on the album mainly because it’s so different, but it is a great tune and serves as a great outro.
 
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