Tuesday, January 21, 2014

RECORD REVIEW: Randy Chapman "Cursed"


The latest slab from 
Florida's metal kingpin
is a haunting set, packed 
with grinding riffs and
blistering solos.

The liner notes (almost) say it all — All songs written, arranged, produced and performed by Randy Chapman.

Kicking the record off with an acoustic-flavored intro, "'Til Death Do Us Part"  drops quickly into a low, eerie chug and offers an aural blueprint of what's  to come in the next 60 minutes.

Chapman soon shifts gears momentarily with one of the record's chunkiest delights — the turbo-charged, groove-heavy "Shallow," while the ominous-sounding "October Rust" and the eight-minute opus "Harvester of Souls" both serve as convincing examples of his versatile guitar prowess.

Like a battering ram to the rib cage, "Devil in Disguise" oozes an undeniable Anvil-like quality and is perhaps the most hard-hitting of the pack — "Metal on Metal," dude! And speaking of hard-hitting, with its Blackmore-inspired chops, peppered with Lord-like keyboards and punchy double kick, the guitar-driven "No Rest for the Wicked" also stands out as one of the record's strongest tracks.

And then, there it is, amid the flying shrapnel and other metal debris scattered throughout the record, lies the bona fide gem — Chapman's crowning jewel, "Ghost." Best described as a modern metal heartbreak epic, the lyrics and lead vocals are a collaborative effort between Chapman and east coast newcomer, Laura Moore. And it is, amazing.

"No matter how I try, there's 
nothing left for you and I.
Feels like my whole 
world is turning black."
From "Ghost" / Written by 
Randy Chapman and Laura Moore 

Lyrically, Cursed provides a smorgasbord of dark, dismal messages that at times are difficult to choke down — especially for a guy like me who chooses to walk in "the light." However, Chapman is a master musician who succeeds in creating plenty of compelling and crunchy clatter throughout.

-Christopher Long
(January 2014)

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1 comment:

  1. Having grown up hanging around Randy and the many bands he was in, this is the heavyest most bada** stuff to date. Kudos to Randy Chapman