Illuminaudio by Chiodos

Chiodos’ latest effort, Illuminaudio, is their first since the release of vocalist Craig Owens and drummer Derrick Frost. The time has come to judge the bands ability without their superstar singer and little known drummer. The results are mixed.

New vocalist Brandon Bolmer isn’t easy to review. He doesn’t fit the “good” or “bad” categories, as much as he fits the “unique” category. The filters and effects used on his voice, while they don’t over power (or belittle) his undeniable talent, are enough to give me a headache. That doesn’t make him a bad vocalist, make no mistake about that. Bolmer enters the picture with huge shoes to fill, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that he did not fill them. Ultimately, while still providing solid vocal work for the record, he fails to show me that Chiodos can be successful without Craig.

Musically,the band has also changed its style. Gone are the days of the simple guitar work and drums of the old Chiodos. Illuminaudio ushers in darker tones and layers upon layers of complex and many times overproduced instrumentals. This album seriously has the potential to give you a headache.

Not all is lost however. The record is a solid one and is worth the listen. Many people will find the new sound a suitable change for Chiodos, and many will not. It’s difficult to judge Illuminaudio without making comparisons to Chiodos’ older material, which I found to be superior.

Illuminaudio gets a 3 out of 5

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