It’s that time of year again! The Italian Stallions from Milan are back! The Progressive Metalcore Quintet otherwise known as Destrange have returned with their fifth studio album since 2007 and Paolo Colavolpe’s vocals have always been schizophrenic and listening to them has always brought the same joy as the first time of hearing the first System of aDown album. There was a sense of disappointment with the last album “A Means To No End” which didn’t pack that same edge as 2014s “Are You Kidding Me? No”. That sense is instantly erased with the title track “The Chosen One”.
It’s energy, like the Tech-Metal equivalent of a kettle boiling through a bright tapping section that also sees Federico Paulovich bring an arena drum sound to the table. A celebration of the band that covers off everything they’ve been about for the last 12 years is a fine place to start. Contining that trend “About That” sees Colavolpe asking for people to take a chance, live a little and step outside of their comfort zone. It’s a sentiment that stands true for modern life with many retreating into their shells with creature comforts. The guitar work is varied and excellent with Matteo Di Gioia and Ralph Salati dueling off the schizophrenic riffs of Everytime I Die through some classic rock with a fine smattering of Periphery to create an energetic sound that you can’t help but feel. “Hey Stranger!” finds Colavolpe confessing to not believing in God but having faith. Some have criticized his use of the deeper growl on various tracks throughout the bands career in the same way that they did SOAD but for the long term fan it’s a nostalgic element of glorious grace that adds a heavier edge to a gilt edged knife.
“At The Cost Of Pleasure” has a bigger rock opening sound with a sense of something wicked approaching. After a clean verse it hits with the unclean lines after a dark whisper. A polished affair, it has a high production value with the ideal mix for the bands sound. Some of the complexity maybe abandoned at the start of this one but that’s replaced by the band demonstrating skill in building atmosphere with undercurrent of tension. “Mr. Bugman” continues the quirky titles and lyrics that Destrange are known for. This cut has more of the seamless style blending that keeps things fresh, the savage unclean blips making way for some Scott Weiland tones in the vocals. These bleed through into “Rage, My Alibi” which bursts into life after a melodic start before dropping off into some cabaret show thing with industrial overtones. The dark spoken word makes way for some more guitar work and the weirdness is jaw droppingly good. When they’re at their best, expect the unexpected from Destrange.
A more straight up structured tune “Headache and Crumbs” has some political overtones and a decent amount of Hard Rock attitude in its Progressive Tech-Metal guitar work. This isn’t DJent, it’s a far more pure form of a beast. Imagine if you will, four bands in vans screaming towards a cross roads and smashing into each other. There’s some Guns n’ Roses, some Pink Floyd, some System of a Down and some Periphery all in this mix and it’s balanced off to sweet perfection. Album closer “The Gifted Ones” has the ache of a Pink Floyd a tune for the opening 90 seconds and just when you’re wondering where it’s going, the guitars and drums kick in and inject some energy and edge to a everything. The melloncholic sadness however lingers until the last minute or so when a final showing of prowess delivers the kind of cut glass sharpness that this band are all about. Back for more and back in form [7.5/10]
The Chosen One
At The Cost Of Pleasure
Rage, My Alibi
Headache and Crumbs
The Gifted One
“The Chosen One” by Destrange is out now and available via Metal Blade