elements of extreme metal with crushing heaviness, CHOSEN
is a band fully intent on taking their multi-layered music to
a wider audience. Drawing influence from distinctive groups such
as Death, Meshuggah, Gojira, Cynic, and Nevermore, the band has
set a new precedent in what modern day metal can sound like, with
the timely release of their debut album, Resolution,
via the world wide web.
Recorded at the prestigious Westland Studios with producer
Walker at the helm, Resolution is a reflection
of sheer perseverance and innovation, brimming with top-notch
musicianship, well-crafted arrangements and inventive hooks. Merged
with a rich audio production value, void of the sterile, homogeneous
and plastic instrumentation factor which currently dominates the
commercial metal market, this debut album from one of Irelands
noteworthy metal bands is a truly refreshing piece of work.
the groups formal inception at the start of 2005, CHOSEN
has always been driven by its two founding members Paul Shields
(vocals/guitars) and David McCann (drums/percussion).
Both were young teenagers when they first started playing music
together and after a series of mini-projects and explorations
they decided to seek out other serious musicians for a whole new
not a dud track on Resolution; capable of conserving the
epic temper fulfilled by soothing harmonies, Chosen muster
a balance of musical efficiency with the brutal histrionics
of Death and Gojira.
What followed over the course of the next few years evolved into
the major project that is CHOSEN which saw the band release
a number of independent and well-received demos, gig regularly
around their native Ireland, as well as go through some line-up
changes. Ultimately, the journey would lead them half way across
the world to Vancouver, Canada where the band relocated
to in 2008.
opportunity to advance the bands international profile and
experience a new way of life in another part of the world proved
too great a reason to stay in Ireland at the time. Packing their
entire lives into a couple of suitcases each and shipping two
large boxes of musical equipment overseas, the band jetted off
to the west coast of Canada and settled down in Vancouver, their
new stomping ground. After a fruitful year spent abroad with a
new line-up, and culminating in a successful Canada-wide tour,
as well as a very unique tribute gig to the late Chuck Schuldiner,
the group returned to Ireland during the summer of 2009 to record
their debut album.
is an industrious and energetic album, pulsating with
the diverse facets of the bands distinguishable
influences. Chosens songwriting skills have crafted
an album that will be instantly accessible to a wide circle
of metal fans yet still retain a magnetic allure due to
the intensity of its heavier songs. This is a weighty
addition to bulk up any extreme metal collection.
However, upon arriving back home, Shields and McCann found themselves
without a stable line-up as the rest of the band suddenly quit,
citing personal circumstances as their reasons for leaving. Slimmed
down to a two-piece rather abruptly and at the worst possible
time, the project naturally came to a halt and both members decided
to take some time off having been away from home for the last
(L-R): David McCann Drums/Percussion
| Paul Shields
What at first appears to be an ending is often just a new beginning.
This simple yet expressive sentiment sums up what ultimately brought
CHOSEN back from their shallow grave. For this particular
musical partnership, reforming the band and completing what they
started was the only way either could move on. Ready and willing
to re-invent themselves, CHOSEN emerged from the depths
and began the recording process of their long-awaited debut album.
Entering Komodo Studios in Northern Ireland to begin with,
the trio of Shields, McCann and producer Alwyn
down the foundations of Resolution while at the same time,
keeping an ear out for musicians with whom to complete the record.
Shields reflects on the search for new members: With the
drums and most of the guitars complete, we used a rough mix of
the unfinished album as a recruitment tool, and headhunted musicians
whom we knew of already through our own network of friends and
other bands in the Irish music scene. We eventually found some
musicians that were willing to lend their talent to the project
but, sadly, it didnt last and we were reduced to a two-piece
for a second time.
adds: It was then we decided to finish the album ourselves,
with Paul undertaking the vocal and bass duties. Not everyone
knows this but when Paul and I first started playing music together
he was a vocalist/guitarist. However, prior to the formation of
CHOSEN he wanted to focus more on guitar playing and opted
to let someone else take on the role of vocalist. In hindsight,
having him take up the microphone is, perhaps, something we should
have done a long time ago, given our long-term experience of being
unable to find the right combination of members. In a way, it
was inevitable. Then again, weve certainly no major regrets
over having worked with various musicians in the past, as without
their efforts we probably would never have gotten to where we
range of influences on offer is breath-taking. You can
hear classic prog/death elements of bands like Atheist,
Death and Opeth as well as the crushing intensity of Meshuggah
throughout the entire nine tracks on offer. And most importantly
the two lads have the chops to match the quality and musicianship
of the aforementioned legendary groups.
The year of 2012 finally saw the group reunited with producer
Walker this time at Westland
Studios in Dublin, where they would complete the record. Having
spent months of creativity and great toil on the songs, the bass
and vocals were finally laid down with a sense of closure and
finality to what had been a very long process. From that point
on, the album was instantly transformed from the inconclusive
piece of work it once was into a tightly woven combination of
speaking, McCann admits there were a few different concepts behind
the tracks: We tried to write about a number of social issues
and other topics that were on our minds but without being overly
preachy, the drummer reveals. While we didnt
have too strict a conceptual direction, we did focus on various
aspects of contemporary life. Some of the subject matters include
the rising tide of narcissism, superstitious thinking, mental
health, evolution and instinctual behaviour, self-deception, as
well as some psychological theories such as group conformity and
are an Irish two piece of huge technical ability, whose
individual sound invokes memories of latter day Death,
Atheist and perhaps the dark, swirling intensity of Nevermore.
The band are capable of creating moments of sheer class
and pretty much every track here is in possession of such.
The crisp, incisive sound allows for full appreciation
of the intricate riffing and you can't help but be impressed
by the sheer quality on display.
Shields weighs in: This record is more than just a record
for us but also a reminder of the sheer power that music can have
as an art form. It represents everything we worked hard on, obsessed
over, and allowed to consume each of us as the compositions filled
our heads day after day. Our greater vision was somehow manifested
in this album and its symbolic of just why we love writing
and performing music. Its also something that might, hopefully,
still be around long after we are dead and gone. After all, the
writing of memorable music is about as close as one can get to
achieving some form of immortality. Whether we pass into musical
obscurity or achieve modest success is anyones wild guess.
But either way, we are proud of what we have accomplished and
hope that others can appreciate what we have worked on for so
Resolution, the debut album from CHOSEN was produced
Walker and is available directly
from the bands website.