Exploring the Crossover Prog Rock of Finland’s The Chant – New Haven!

new havenThe album that was the soundtrack for my run on Thursday was New Haven, the latest release from the Finnish crossover prog. band The Chant. The album has been in my rotation for about a week now and it’s one of those albums, that get better with each repeated listen!

The Chant has been around since 1999. First, there were three Jussi Hämäläinen(guitar/vocals), Mari Jämbäck (keyboards) and Ilpo Paasela (vocals), then four when  Kimmo Tukiainen(guitar) joined the group. The final count which has been fairly stable over the life of the band was six, after Markus Forsström (bass) and Roope Sivén(drums) came on board.

The Chant

Prior to the release of their debut album in 2008, the band had built a solid reputation in their homeland, through the release of four demos. The demos were released over a three-year period from 2005 to 2008. The first two helped shape the band’s sound, while the later two Signs (2005), and Breakdown (2006) grew their reputation.

Their first album Ghostlines was released in 2008 and they have followed up with four (4) more releases, including their current release New Haven, which was released  on June 4, 2014. From LifeForce Records…

…..Instead of getting comfortable with the last album´s(A Healing Place)  sound, The Chant chose to challenge themselves and their listeners once again. As one of Finland´s most profound bands, they have again boldly ventured out into new territories, and this is what they have found – a ‘New Haven’.

The cornerstones of the band´s identity – soundscape-driven, dense arrangements and flowing, unpredictable song structures filled with subtle hooklines – are still there. Also the baritone voice of singer Ilpo Paasela sounds as sonorous and chesty as ever. In fact, his unpretentious lead vocals, accompanied by the two singing guitarists Pekka Loponen and Jussi Hämäläinen, are a crucial familiar element on this ambitious, enigmatic album.

The big news is: The gloom is back. Compared to ‘A Healing Place’, the atmosphere on this record is much darker and truly hypnotic – and more dramatic than ever. This time, the Finns achieved to capture the kind of mesmerizing melancholy that has made Katatonia the figurehead of an entire genre. It´s almost as if an unspoken threat follows the listener throughout the entire musical and lyrical journey that The Chant are undertaking here – be it the audio-visual labyrinth of ‘Minotaur’, the Nine Inch Nails-flavored, noisy ‘Cloud Symmetry’ or the solemn closing track ‘Come to pass’. So make no mistake – ‘New Haven’ is not a place of sheer convenience, but one of constant motion and challenge.Read More

So Check Them Out!!

Links

Artist Website
LifeForce Records
ProgArchives
Facebook
YouTube

Here’s the official video for the track “Spectral Light” from the album A Healing Place.

Links

Artist Website
LifeForce Records
ProgArchives
ttps://www.facebook.com/thechant”>Facebook
YouTube