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CHAMEL3ONS: The Mandala Effect

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Released October 15

Words by Jimmy Glinster

Post Nu-Metal, what the fuck is that all about? Is it cool to do something after the fact? No, it’s not, and you sound like a fucking muppet when you call something “post”, whatever the fuck it is you are apparently not doing, or doing after it’s done. Anyway, rant over, and I won’t hold that against these guys because apparently, they are influenced by some of my favourite bands. Let’s see how they live up to their mentors, post review.

Colour Me Strange opens sounding very much like an early Mudvayne song, and that’s kinda cool, but then the lyrics enter, and it’s a little too singy for my liking. The vocalist does throw in the odd scream though, which elevates the overall feel of the track. Killer basslines really hold this track together. The middle of the song introduces some cool groves, and we start to hear the heavy guitars take over a little. If 311 added more distorted guitars to their reggae based songs, it would probably sound much like this. Pretty cool little opener.

Title tracks The Mandala Effect opens with some slow picked guitars and a sweet little vocal melody. The song then rocks into a chorus and the distorted guitar take over for a few bars until we are back to the clean, smooth vibe of the start of the track. Killer broken basslines again rule this track, and we are even blessed with a guitar solo mid-song. That’s not very Nu-Metal, but I guess that doesn’t matter because they are doing this after, or post, or some shit.

Thankfully, Habituate kicks off more upbeat, and we hear the vocalist enter with some long awaited angsty screams. This track has some killer groove and bounce once it’s gets going, and I’m excited to hear where this all goes. A classic old school Nu-Metal breakdown takes over mid-song, and we get another neat little guitar solo. Banger of a track, and I’m hoping we hear more of this from CHAMEL3ON in the latter half of the album.

The next track Meridian takes on a weird Jazz x Reggae vibe with it’s spasmatic interweaving bass and guitar riffs. A momentary display of shredding guitar scales breaks up the track mid-song and continues to disrupt us at every twist of the second half of the song. Add weird out of place elevator music and the song is done. I have no idea what that song was meant to be about, but it was pretty cool nonetheless.

It’s time for a love ballad, or at least that what the intro to Meridan led me to believe with its clean guitars and sultry bass lines. Nope, it tricked us, and now we have a rock song on our hands complete with lead guitar fills and some pretty serious riffage. Ah fuck, tricked me again, and now I’m on hold to Telstra or some shit. I realise I’ve been tricked into another instrumental, and after reviewing two of these in the last week featuring two dudes jamming some fully sick riffs, I’m just about done with instrumentals. In saying that, this is three dudes jamming some fully sick riffs. If we can get to post-instrumental now, that’d be greatly fucking appreciated!

I’ll Meet You There thankfully breaks us out of the instrumental shit storm and opens with some ringing out distorted guitars and rolling drums. And then, wtf, I can’t even describe this weird section. Post prog singalong pop maybe? Whatever the fuck it is, it’s not my jam, but it kind of reminds of that song by Crazy Town where they stole the best part of the song from that Chilly Willy band. The song picks up at about the halfway mark, and we start hearing some heavy guitars and screams, but unfortunately this doesn’t last long, or long enough, and we return to the indescribable bit. I’m confused, I may actually like this track, or at least the heavy parts of it. Why, though, what are they trying to achieve here?

I’m about to Sharpen The Knife for the next track Sharpen The Knife because these guys can’t seem to make up their mind about how they want to sound. This is a good thing though because you don’t have a chance to get bored with it. I like this band when they are heavy, not so much with the experimental parts, but I reckon that’ll grow on me as it
possibly will with you. This is a heavier track than most so far, yeah, I like this one!

Numbers is track number 8 on the album, and to be honest, it’s just a number and another track. Not a bad song, but definitely not an exciting one. That bass tone though, it’s killer, but everything else around it is very lacklustre. The track reminds me of those Deftones tracks where you are just waiting for them to end, so you can hear something rocking. Let’s be honest, though, that didn’t happen as much as we all would have liked. By the 4-and-a-half- minute mark, I’m actually starting to enjoy this track, but then it ends. Slow burner, slow, slow, burner.

Insert closing acoustic track here, and that’s exactly how the final track Sinking Sand begins. Are they sinking in the dying moments of this album? Possibly, but we start to hear some heavier guitars around the 2-minute mark, as well as some keys and samples which introduce another new sound to the band. The track does get rocking though with the
guitars taking over for some solo time before an elevated outro with wailing vocals. And then another outro, with acoustic guitars, and no wailing vocals.

Interesting album, from an interesting band. I will be giving this another listen or 5 so that I can maybe do some kind of “post” review. I feel that this is an album that will grow on me and can grow on you too once you manage to make sense of it. All said and done, it’s nu- metal, and it would have fit in well during the early to mid 2000s. Is this part of the Nu- Metal revival? I sure do fucking hope so!

Now, where’s my new Mudvayne album?

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