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"Modern Bodies"

Chickenhawk – Modern Bodies
02 November 2010, 09:00 Written by Adrian Mules

After a series of critically acclaimed releases Leeds based metallers Chickenhawk have clocked the mileometer on their flame-spurting monster-truck o’ doom and consolidated the best of what has gone before into Modern Bodies. Existing fans of the band won’t find any new material here, admittedly some of the tracks have new guitars/vocals and everything has been mixed by Kevin Vanbergen to ensure a more seamless package, but those expecting new material will have to wait until 2011.

This eleven track aide-mémoire perfectly illustrates what an exciting prospect the band are. Juxtaposing micro-math-rock-twidding with bludgeoning riffs like an ogre in chess club – they are the thinking man’s thrashers. Every track is played with the deft musicianship expected of the metal illuminate, but is delivered with an energy that would send many hardcore bands reaching for the oxygen masks mid-song.

High water-mark ‘I Hate This, Do You Like It?’ is as vivacious as it was on its release last year, even when disconnected from its superb zombie apocalypse music video, the urgency and panic still gush from every note. ‘My Name Is Egg’ turns up the doom whilst simultaneously turning down the speed, demonstrating no-allegiance to any single style and the confidence, expertise and determination to succeed regardless.

With a band as good as Chickenhawk it makes a great deal of sense to plan an assault on the hearts and minds of those not yet won over from a central platform, which Modern Bodies eloquently provides. The track selection is well thought out and splendidly arranged into a body of work that feels like and album rather than a best-of. But if you’ve bought everything up until now it probably doesn’t warrant another purchase, if however you are new to the band Modern Bodies is the perfect starting point to uncover one of the leading lights in UK metal.

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