Shall be the Conqueror – Chillicothe Burning [EP] – Review

Artist: Shall be the Conqueror
Album: Chillicothe Burning – EP
Rating: 4.5/5

          There are all sorts of wacky genre-mashups happening these days. It seems throwing in a jazz fill (a la War From a Harlot’s Mouth) or a piano line straight out a 50’s swing record (a la Arsonists Get All the Girls) isn’t just not enough to placate fans of progressive -core, but has become the standard. How else–other than mish-mashing nonsense genres–do we expect hardcore and its offshoots to keep us listeners entertained? Shall be the Conqueror have the answer with their new EP Chillicothe Burning, which uses a careful blending of various influences from a plethora of genres rather than randomly mixing mismatched styles to create a unique sound.
          Shall be the Conqueror don’t just rely on brutalizing breakdowns or shred-saturated guitar lines to attract fans. The Ohio-based progressive deathcore outfit expertly match complimentary sounds and structures to create deep and intricate tracks which take the listener on intrepid journeys. Journeys like the epic “Needles Kane,” which starts and ends with a delicate and melodic riff, separated by a sludgy, down-tempo hardcore section with perfectly matched rasping harsh vocals and despondent lyrics. Another example of the quests which comprise Chillicothe Burning is “So Far the Horizon” which starts with a thrashy, straightforward riff, but morphs into an immensely technical monster which uses sweeping guitar lines, pounding drums and heavy slams to expertly straddle death metal and deathcore. In fact, some of the beauty of the EP isn’t found in just the musical composition itself, but how each section of each track is carefully planned and crafted using influences from genres which compliment each other perfectly. Rather than rough jumps and ass-backward tumbles into different portions of each track, the songs flow smoothly and function in ideal unison with one another.
          Yes, Chillicothe Burning does have some absolutely stand-out moments. But rather than a brief release highlighted by one or two nifty riffs or skull-crushing breakdowns, Shall be the Conqueror crafted a comprehensive and fluid EP which feels infinitely more immersive than its brief twenty-minute run time. It isn’t just the lightning-quick, technical tapping, nor is it the grinding vocals or thunderous drums which steal the show. Rather, it’s the refreshing ability for a band to have released such a masterfully comprehensive and immense album as original as it is unexpected.

By Connor Welsh/Eccentricism

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