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Evolve - EP

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Customer Reviews

One of the best releases of 2012

Let's be honest here: up to this point Chelsea Grin have not been the most innovative of bands. That hasn't stopped them from being enjoyable but they never broke any new ground in the deathcore scene. Well, that has all changed with the release of Evolve, and I believe that there is one major reason for that: the 'acquisition' of Jason Richardson from Born of Osiris. Listening to this EP, you can hear his beautiful and furious guitarwork constantly flowing beneath the raw, screamed vocals; but he's brought a lot more to Chelsea Grin than just his skill at playing the guitar.

This time around Chelsea Grin have broadened their horizons. There's a lot of atmosphere to this release, especially in the opening track "The Second Coming". The whole EP sounds decidedly 'evil' (bar the last track which has a real beauty to it) There's a lot of orchestral moments which definitely add to the overall atmosphere and feel of the release, and Jason Richardson's very Born of Osiris-sounding guitarwork is always audible which grants a very 'epic' feel to the release.

Not only this but vocalist Alex Koehler has begun to do clean vocals. Immediately you probably thought "Oh great, another deathcore band throwing in cheesy, unnecessary clean vocals. Snooore" but this is *not* the case. Many deathcore bands have a terrible habit of throwing in clean vocals just because, and this almost always ruins the song; but this is not the case with Chelsea Grin. They are used very tastefully and sparingly; the Chorus for Lilith and a small amount at the beginning of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". They definitely add to the EP because they don't feel forced, whiny and autotuned, or unnecessary; they're used to great effect.
Alex's screamed vocals are back and better than ever. His vocals in My Damnation received a mixed response, due to the fact that he used almost no effects on them and it sounded very raw. Many fans enjoyed this but some didn't; this time he's managed to strike a very good balance between the two. He's maintained the raw feel of My Damnation, but the smoothness and evil-sounding atmosphere of Desolation of Eden. The only question now is whether he can pull them off live.

Another thing that I love about this EP in comparison to their previous albums is that there's almost no 'chugging' at all; it's constant, very clever riff-work and even some very impressive solos in a number of the songs; breakdowns are used but, like the clean vocals, sparingly, in moments where it *actually* works.

Overall, I cannot recommend this EP enough. Chelsea Grin appeared to be heading down the wrong road with their last album (as enjoyable as it was) and this has completely changed their path. This is the EP that will silence much of their hate, and you owe it to yourself to actually give it a full, thorough listen before you decide what to think about this band and where they're going; it's simply no longer fair to judge them on Desolation of Eden and My Damnation as they've changed so thoroughly that it's almost as if they're a new band. Jason Richardson is the best thing that could have happened to this band and you can definitely hear the Born of Osiris influences on this release.


I think this EP genuinely shows why Chelsea Grin has many misconceptions.
Everyone I've known personally has loved them, and they've had a lot of criticism too.
But this EP certainly shows that so far from their very first EP to this one, they've grown and every album has become more technical and impressive. What most people don't realize is that in everything they've released, their sound has completely changed from the vocals to the guitars and so on yet they still have a very signature stamp in a way most similar bands today do not.
This EP contains everything I would expect with their new guitarist, it's heavily influenced by him, at first I was unsure I would enjoy it because as much as I enjoyed Born Of Osiris I did feel they are very different to Chelsea Grin in many ways and that blending them together didn't really seem possible.
Personally I think the orchestral elements truly build this dark and evil sounding and I believe that is the middle ground in which these two completely different styles mix and without them, it probably wouldn't be as effective.
All in all, I am a huge fan of Chelsea Grin and I'm very proud of this EP, with their criticism beforehand I do not blame them what so ever in ensuring they become better and more technical and show off their variety and skills. I was heavily impressed with Andrew Carlstons drumming becoming more advanced than their first EP. Alex's incorporations of cleans was certainly something I would never have expected but when you hear them you can't imagine them not being there.


These guys have really stepped up the quality with this EP. The vocals are sick as always, there are the usual thundering guitar breakdowns as well as some interesting melodic riffs included in there keeping things fresh and cool to listen to. In both Don't Ask, Don't Tell and Lilith we hear some of the first bits of singing included from Chelsea Grin, and it fits surprisingly well! Each song is unique and easy to listen to, whereas in the past Chelsea Grin may have seemed a little repetitive, that is not the case with this EP.
This is easily the best stuff Chelsea Grin has released so far, it's just a shame there isn't more!


Formed: 2007 in Salt Lake City, UT

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Formed in 2007, Chelsea Grin channeled the brutality of their namesake into their punishing brand of breakdown-heavy deathcore. Starting as a five-piece, the Salt Lake City, Utah band, consisting of singer Alex Koehler, guitarists Michael Stafford and Chris Kilbourn, bassist Austin Marticorena, and drummer Andrew Carlston, wasted no time putting themselves out there, releasing a self-titled EP on Statik Factory in 2008 and hitting the road. The band dealt with some lineup changes the following year,...
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Evolve - EP, Chelsea Grin
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