FULL BLOWN CHAOS' new self-titled album is about as lyrically honest and musically in-your-face as metallic hardcore gets. Much like drill sergeant and lead barker Ray Mazzola, it is big, beefy, and free of pretension. Not exactly a progression for a subgenre that emphasizes sticking to the fundamentals and doing it with complete honesty over experimentation and stylistic rerouting, the album nonetheless deserves recognition for being well written and hard as nails. It is what most would expect from an act that has been part of the HC elite for some time now.
That the elite includes HATEBREED and TERROR will tell you a lot about the sound of the new long player since the style falls somewhere between the decibel beatings delivered by each act, although the approach comes closer to the former. Adding a guitarist will beef up the live sound for certain, but the songs here do showcase more than a few two-guitar parts, not the least of which include some brief, well place leads. The approach taken is straight ahead, yet track distinction is treated as a virtue. In other words, the band doesn't try to outsmart itself by straying too far from the basics, yet paid enough attention to detail in the writing process to make each cut count. That includes a couple of songs in "The Path I Walk" and especially "Gravedigger" where the melodic parts are pronounced to a surprising degree, though only when taken in the context of an otherwise bloody knuckled approach. Some air underneath the wings of one of the guitars on "Gutter Mouth" is also attention-grabbing and works well amidst the assault and battery.
So what we're really talking about is a hardy collection of metallic HC tunes that get the point across individually (think: lone gunman) and in a collective sense (think: gang war), thanks to some sharp arranging. But more than anything else, the new one from FULL BLOWN CHAOS is a tough bastard that won't disappoint fans of the hard stuff. Don't expect an album of metallic hardcore mastery. Do expect an exponential increase in road rage incidences and parole violations when the CD is played at maximum volume in certain environs.