Chasing Dragons – Checkmate (EP) ★★★★☆

chasing-dragons-checkmate-ep Artist: Chasing Dragons

EP: Checkmate

Release Date: June 2nd 2014 





Leeds based four piece, Chasing Dragons, have gloriously forced their way into the music scene like a phoenix rising from a pile of ashes before bursting into flame as they take themselves and the listener on a journey into the fiery depths of hell.

Having shared the stage with Fearless Vampire Killers, Pendulum and Death Angel to name a few, the band have also earned comparisons to Avenged Sevenfold and Iron Maiden, and they are guilty as charged in the release of their latest EP Checkmate.

The phrase ‘girl power’ does not do justice to the sheer amount of pussy domination this EP has to offer. The aptly named frontwoman Tank is a literal vocal machine as she belts out powerfully provoking lyrics in a hurricane of gnarly, gritty tones. Team that with the intensity and impressively accuracy of female drummer Kate and you’ve got yourself quite the pair. However, Chasing Dragons would not be complete without the equally dominant other half of this four piece as guitarist Mitch and bassist Ant each add their own personal spin on their unique and theatrical sound.

The EP opens with Prelude as a glimmer that resonates deep within the fog of melodic violins, haunting vocals and intense guitars. Tensions are sky high as the eerie opening track develops into a flurry of ravenous guitars, demanding drumming and gnarly vocals.

But don’t let their coyness fool you. Chasing Dragons launch themselves headfirst into attack, taking no prisoners as they belt out the second track Throw Down Your King, which will no doubt influence throwdowns when performed live, leaving the listener feel like they’ve been in the pit themselves as this track throws you from one riff-induced, brutally vocal side to the next.

Twists and turns are key throughout the EP as Chasing Dragons tease you with their unpredictability, which is painfully evident in their third track That’s Not Love. Tank’s voice takes a soulful take as she gnarls down the microphone over the shredding guitar riffs and pulsating drumming technique.

The EP takes a break from the fierce, gnarly theatrical sound to share with their listeners a more soothing, gentler side in the ballad The Last Defence opening with a sporadic piano solo before bowing down to Tank’s vocals as they wash over the melody, bathing in purity and emotion, before ending their six track journey on the upbeat-on-your-feet Broken Jaws. The drum rolls that open this track are something to behold, never mind the powerfully rhythmic guitar riffs that play beneath the call and answer style vocals.

And just in case all of that isn’t quite enough for you, the glossy, impeccable quality of the recording will be sure to satisfy, as you can hear every scratch, every hit and every breath exactly the way they want you to. Listen to this EP countless times and you will always hear something new.

Checkmate gives the band the opportunity to sink their poisonous fangs deep within your very soul, leaving you with a craving that only chasing the dragon can satisfy. This record should come with a warning other than parental guidance. Chasing Dragons have arrived. Belt up.