CHEVALIER - Destiny Calls

Chevalier - Destiny Calls

10 songs
45:40 minutes
***** ****
Gates Of Hell

Bandpage

I have been following Chevalier from Finland since the few years they have been active, and have been an avid fan of their previous EPs. Now the quintet is back with its debut longplayer, and those who liked the EPs will definitely love the album. Destiny Calls comes with ten tracks, four of which are only an intro, interludes and an outro. So we are left with six songs that taken together make it over forty minutes. This is something which started already on the band’s last EP which also favoured the listener with extensive compositions.

From a stylistic point of view, one can claim that Chevalier is an old school speed metal band, and while this is a rather good description, it doesn’t do the band justice. The songs often come with lengthy introductions, and taken together with the interludes, it shows that Chevalier are working on a narrative. Also the music doesn’t sound like any other band right now. The guitar tandem feels like ripped straight from the early Eighties, the bass guitar is atypically loud in the mix, and I like that more than those timid bass players that drown in the background. The drums are shattering like crazy, and all of this is crowned by the wailing vocals courtesy of Emma Grönqvist, the best female metal voice to have graced my ears for at least thirty years.

There are those metal sirens that give you the impression that you’re listening to an opera, except with distorted guitars. And then there are those female metal vocalists that scream so harsh that they sound just like their male counterparts. Those rare metal singers that keep their own voice are rare these days. Chevalier quote ADX and Omen among their illustrious although obscure influences, although I see strong parallels to the criminally underrated Znöwhite whose vocalist Nicole Lee could be the spiritual mother of Emma Grönqvist. Some guy on the Internet even thought there was a post punk dimension to the music, and what sounds crazy at first makes sense, because the banshee vocals are a trademark of exactly that genre.

What might disturb the high-fidelity junkies of today is that Destiny Calls sounds like a cheaply recorded output from the mid-Eighties, but I dare say that this happened intentionally. Chevalier have tried to build a time machine that propels us back into the early to mid-Eighties, and how they succeeded! Although I could frankly have done without the many short instrumentals, I love every second of this album. My personal highlight is the spacy Stormbringer, and five and a half minutes also the shortest track on the album and the place to start if you want to get an impression what I have been raving about these last few paragraphs. I doubt that there will come out a better metal album this year.

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