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Misunderstood Chapter - 91%

longdistancerunner, July 15th, 2008

Every now and then I hear and see people writing or saying not so good words about this album. Some say it doesn't sound like Gorefest at all, some say the songwriting sucks, some say that it's the worst GF album and that the band had lost its spark... Well, I'm not going to argue with them and say that they're not right - everyone has his own opinion.

As for me, I really like this album... Yes, it stands out of the GF discography, being probably the most different album of all, but it's not a bad thing by any means. At first, I didn't like it as well. But later, when I returned to it, I realized the fact that I'm enjoying it while listening. This album just needs to be understood. And the attention should be paid to JC's lyrics, no doubt about that, because they are really good, especially some of them. Mostly they fit music just fine.

Gorefest is mostly associated with death metal scene (I mean by people who are not very familiar with them). The band title speaks for itself, because they started as a death metal band with gore lyrics. But you won't find any gore-related lyrics neither on this album, nor on any other GF album after the debut one, "Mindloss", and I'm only glad about this. "Chapter 13" can't be called a death metal album by any means, it even can't be called a metal album - I think most people, who've heard the record would agree with me. Sure, it's metal enough, but it also has a certain rock'n'roll vibe, and it works just fine in my opinion. Also, it's worth mentioning that there's a lot of experimental stuff on "Chapter 13" - on the one hand, it logically follows the path on the previous album, "Soul Survivor", and, on the other hand, it sounds very different. Mostly the changes are in JC's vocals - it's not only his well-known grunt presented here, but also some clean vocals, whispers, some strange stuff, like layered or distorted vocals. Sometimes it may seem a little annoying, so, it's taking some time to get used to it...

I won't do a song-by-song review, I'll just point out the most important tracks for me... Album starts with a pretty catchy title song - I bet most of you will remember the chorus after the first-second spin. Also I have to mention "Nothingness", "Smile" and "The Idiot" that come one after another. These songs have both good riffs by Frank & Boud as well as JC's memorable thought-provoking lyrics... Next highlight for me is "F.S.2000" - yep, it's not typical song for Gorefest at all, some people say it starts like AC/DC track and feature strange, not typical for JC vocals ... but I just love that song, it has the soul in my opinion. As track 11, we have "Burn Out", the track that starts with an acoustic guitar and then goes into a really groovy and memorable song - I really like the strong bass line provider by De Koeijer. After this track we have 2 last songs on the album - they sure kick ass - quite groovy and have a great rock'n'roll feel to it and solid vocal performance from Jan-Chris. And let's not forget great Ed Warby's drumming on the whole album. It's not typical metal drumming at all, and sure no typical death metal drumming at all, but it's something like a mix of different drumming schools - that's what Ed is famous for. Anyway, as I've said before, this album can't be understood without the careful listening session. But, in my opinion, all the songs of the "Chapter 13" album follow and fit one concept.

With this review, I want to encourage some people to listen to this album themselves, and not only judge this album by other peoples' reviews. Maybe you wouldn't like it... fine then, at least you tried and made up your own opinion. But maybe you'll like it as much as I did and you will be glad you gave "Chapter 13" a chance...