August 4, 2006 | , | 3

Full Blown Chaos, Within the Grasp of Titans

Before I get into the review, there are a couple of items that I need to address regarding the difference between Full Blown Chaos‘ last release, Wake the Demons and their newest. Both have a bearing on the direction I took the review.

First, the band’s sound is greatly matured. I absolutely loved the ferocity of the huge breakdowns and double bass blasts that filled Demons. The album was repetitive at times, but at least you knew that you were in for one hell of a ride. At any rate, Titans sees that band moving a bit away from the metal side of their sound, and embracing many hardcore elements. Gone are the monstrous breakdowns and the repetive chug, chug, chug. What you’ll find now is a more dynamic sound that, while not revolutionary, is a sign of maturity and great things to come.

Secondly, what the hell happened to Ray Mazzolla’s voice!? I know he was bitten by a black widow, but seriously. On Wake the Demons his delivery was beyond hell bent — deep, guttural and quite powerful. When compared to the older style, Mazzolla’s new delivery is toned down, in a slightly higher range and sort of raspy. There’s still a bit of oomph too it, but not nearly in the same vain on the band’s previous effort. I’d be curious to know what prompted the change-up in vocal styles. Obviously, he can still hit that low end growl as it’s heard a few times on this disc.

Any way. The album is pretty damned good, but fans of the last one may be in for a shock when loading this one up, as it sounds vastly different. There is still plenty of insanity on the drums, but be prepared for a more hardcore oriented sound.

Trials of Triumph
This one starts off some what similar to a few of the tracks off of Wake the Demons. It’s apparent right away that Mazzolla’s delivery is much different. The mosh breakdowns are much more controlled and deliberate than the reckless, crushing power of their previous release.

Chopping Block
There’s plenty of power in the blasts from the drums on this one. Man, Mazzolla’s old delivery would have been huge on the slowed down portions around the 1:40 mark. Damn.

Burning Age
Unlike the last album, the songs are slightly shorter as well. This is probably one of my favorite tracks on the album. It’s non-stop aggression. Mazzolla’s delivery starts to grow on you at this point, but for those that were huge fans of Demons it’s still hard to accept.

Solemn Promise
“Solemn Promise” is a song that has a noticeably more matured sound. It’s well structured and thought out. The chorus is catchy as well.

Rise & Fight
A great riff and drum combo start this one off. It’s got a few throw back moments reminiscent of some of their older material. The backing gang vocals on the chorus are predictable, but still add a nice touch.

Anchored Heart
The band slows it down on this one. It’s a bit more restrained, just itching to bust out. And it does around the one minute mark with a bit of a breakdown.

Suffer in Silence
Damn there’s a solo in this one. It’s not super technical, but adds and extra flavor to the band’s revamped sound. We hear a bit of the older vocal delivery toward the end of this one.

Life of Sorrow
One of the shorter tracks on the album, “Life of Sorrow” doesn’t really have anything to cause it to stand out from the rest of the album, so it can get a bit lost. Mazzolla does use an extended scream a few times during his delivery.

I love the start to this one. Jeff Facci is going off on the drums. I’d love to hear more of this flavor throughout a few of the other songs as well.

Big riffs and speed get this one going. The aptly named song feels like a pit full of revenge. Here’s another song that really hints toward bigger things for this band. The solo and intensity at the 1:00 plus mark is friggin great!

Against the Grain
Mazzolla rips out the older delivery a few times on this one — which only causes you to imagine what the band’s new direction would sound like with it. It’s the shortest track on the album, but also one of its most intense.

Kingdom Undone
Again, we hear hints of that older, deeper and more guttural delivery. There are a couple of good riffs and sweet solos to entertain on this one.

Voorhees Complex
The album wraps up with the longest track only because there is a number of minutes of empty space prior to a hidden track on the album. A pretty beefy mosh starts off before descending into utter chaos. The last few tracks have been a departure from the hardcore direction that the band has taken on the rest of the album. It’s roots definitely lay in Wake the Demons. The hidden track fades in at the 7:15 mark on the track. It’s a rerecording of “Bloodflow” off of the band’s debut album Prophet of Hostility. Obviously, the production is a hell of a lot better and the song just rips.

~ ~ ~

Besides the shift in overall sound (a good thing in my book) and the unexplained change in Mazzolla’s delivery, this is a pretty decent release. The production is super tight, the guitart work is excellent, and the song writing (including lyrics) have matured greatlly. After getting used to the aforementioned changes, I have definitely enjoyed this one.

Favorite Tracks:
Burning Age
Solemn Promise
Kingdom Undone

Additional Notes: