“[…]This is not the way the world’s supposed to be.”
The Chant is one of those bands one would wish to be more famous and to get what they deserve. The finns started playing in 1999 and they have released four albums to this date. The fourth album was released in 2014 by Lifeforce Records and contains 9 tracks.
New Haven is a so well worked album, which makes it their preeminent one.
What makes this album different than its predecessor is a darker atmosphere and heavier sounds that contrast with beautiful melodies crowded with the deepest feelings. The band is used to these kind of elements and we’ve witnessed it throughout the albums, however, it is even more evident in New Haven.
During the nine songs, they show us an almost perfect balance between diverse sounds and lyrics that fit pretty well, resulting in a submergence of emotions.
The introductory and heaviest song on the album, ‘Earthen‘ starts with a powerful drum section by Roope Sivén and a nice guitar work by Jussi Hämäläinen and Kimmo Tukiainen. The song goes into an interlude that leaves us with a “tense calm” sensation before blasting off the last chorus. The band made a good decision by setting this as the first song. Maybe people not used to listen to a style such as the one this band has may catch the attention for the whole album.
Second song ‘Minotaur‘ is a track marked by uncertainty. Mari Jämbäck did a great job on the keyboards, often goes unnoticed on this track. Personally, I think this song contains one of the best lyrics on this album.
The band released an official video for this song that was filmed and edited by Samppa Fjäder, assisted by Pekka Loponen and Kimmo Tukiainen. The video has simplistic takes, and it’s not very elaborate, still, fitting on the style.
‘Playwright‘ is the name of the third track. Seven minutes and fifty-six seconds of pure melancholy. A series of different vocal resources are used here: well planned choruses, a ‘narrative’ style that makes the idea of the band to stand out and finally, high notes on a second layer of the music line introducing a guitar solo, ending the track ‘in resignation’.
‘Falling Kind‘. Here we must highlight Markus Forsström’s bassline: simple but effective. This fourth song is my personal favorite. Perhaps this is the most balanced between the atmospheric rock and a little heavier touch.
Coming up next is ‘Drifter‘, that together with ‘Playwright‘ are the gloomiest tracks on the record. Six minutes and twenty-three seconds may be a little too much for some people out there. The song is marked by slow-tempos, a sad feeling and a lullaby-like ending.
Sixth song, ‘Could Symmetry‘ contains minimalistic lyrics that somehow produces some kind of comfort in their meaning. The iteration of harmonious interludes and then powerful choruses incorporating the use of synthesizers creates a fantastic sound variation.
Track number 7, ‘Until We Witness It‘, could perhaps be the weakest song on the album: repetitive elements that don’t produce much to our ears. But who knows? Maybe it’s a matter of personal taste…
Penultimate song ‘Come To Pass‘ really recalls the band’s name. Beautiful chants decorate this final passage, closing the album with a touching track. Even though this is the longest song on New Haven, you can’t really get tired or bored of it.
‘Sun Below‘ is a catchy digital only bonus track. Nothing really differs from the previous songs with respect to the style and structure of the song.
‘New Haven‘ is by far my personal favorite The Chant‘s album (without dis-prizing previous works). The band really reached the top of their performance and they have found their true sound, something which can be confirmed by listening to their new tracks.
We’ll anxiously wait for further productions. A band that truly deserves more attention yet because of the not so popular style, their reach to listeners may be unfortunately limited.