By Dr. Abner Mality

This Irish band comes waltzing into the metal world with no fanfare or expectations and manages to hugely surprise me with a thoroughly professional and compelling slab of modern extreme metal that can stand with the biggest names in the genre.

A two-man outfit, Chosen is working the same general territory as Meshuggah and Fear Factory, but with added atmosphere and progression from influences like Nevermore and Opeth. For once, the press sheet describes them exactly right. Looking at these two modest gentlemen, you would expect something more along the lines of Shinedown, but looks are deceiving! They unleash some furious and inventive staccato riffing that will pound your brain remorselessly. The production values here are shockingly advanced and offer final proof that independent metal can sound as good as anything coming from Nuclear Blast or Century Media. The vocals are all over the map but mostly are of the raw, screaming kind. "Defective Prospection" emerges as one of my fave tracks because of the unusual vocal approach which is hard to properly describe...not exactly harsh, but not "normal" either.

Sometimes Chosen's resemblance to Fear Factory is uncanny, especially on "Asch's Paradigm", when there is an amazing clean vocal chorus over soaring industrial riffing that could have come straight from "Demanufacture". Maybe it is not original, but when you meet or surpass your inspiration, the point is moot. The band tends towards the epic and adds many atmospheric or subdued parts to add dimension to their sound. But each track is dominated by hammering metal.

If this band doesn't get signed by a good independent metal label, it is a crime against music. For a debut release, "Resolution" is a phenomenal start.