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Charger - "Confessions Of a Man (Mad Enough to Live Amongst Beasts)"
Peaceville 2003

Now, this is an interesting piece of work. Charger are a rather new line - up with what is (almost!) a new approach to extreme music on their debut album. But, then again, it's hard to be completely original these days. Just about anything you do will, in some way or the other, be connected to some other creation. This one features elements of doom metal, thrash metal, death metal, hardcore and some jazzily dissonant noises. Frankly speaking, my first impression when I popped this one into my cd player was along the lines of "...what the?! Did someone accidentally leave the microphones on in some studio?!" The album takes some getting used to. Unless your musical taste matches Charger's influences and mood fluctuations exactly. And even then, you might need a minute or two to get used to the vocals...

Confessions Of a Man (Mad Enough to Live Amongst Beasts) is - first and foremost - very noisy. It's packed full of outbursts of incoherent screaming, instrument abuse and overcranking of the distorsion setting. Sometimes at the same instant. Not really heavy or brutal, just noisy. With lots of dissonance and rhytm changes. The tracks also tend to be a bit fragmented, although there is no lack of cohesion.

So much for the general impression after the first listening or two. Confessions Of a Man (Mad Enough to Live Among Beasts) shows its true colours only when you are ready to immerse yourself in it. Each song carries a powerfull enough message which takes some time to discern. Also, each song is made of (quite clearly) separated parts. And at this point it is safe to say that the especially the doomier - sounding parts actually sound like pretty good doom metal compositions. Actually, they sound better than quite a few whole "doom metal" tracks (or records) by the so called doom metal bands of today... Frankly speaking, almost all of the parts can sound good. Even the senseless noise - making and the punky outbursts. Once you get into the right state of mind.

The truth is, this is not an album, directed towards a certain audience, a certain style, a certain idea. It is an album that suits a certain emotional state. The information that it was recorded in one go might help explaining the overall mood. It's noisy, it's pissed off and at times quite depressed as well. It's well done, but I can't say if it's really good. It's very emotional, but I can't say if it's really powerfull. It depends on the listener's mood, really. Confessions... can be just as great as it can be annoying. But it is certainly a worthy experiment with quite a bit of creativity.

I'd recommend this album to those of you, who tend to react to your moods with music... it sounds really good on a lousy day. But generally, I think that the audiences of Raging Speedhorn and the more punk/hardcore - oriented crowd will consider Charger quite a find.

Author:   Jaša

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