Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Chiodos still successful without Craig Owens

Chiodos has gotten praise and intense criticism for the
dismissal of their founder and former lead singer Craig Owens. By praise, I
mean people who hated Owens were all for the split, and by intense criticism, I
mean Owens fans swore of the band completely. The band has a lot to prove on
the new album, Illuminaudio (especially
new vocalist Brandon Bolmer) to fans and haters alike.

There are many elements in this album that are inherently
Chiodos. The sounds and elements that have defined the band for years are
present in many tracks, but some more than others. “Love is a Cat from Hell”
starts off immediately with heavy instrumentals, with melodic vocals and
frenzied screaming. Guest vocals from Vic Fuentes of Pierce the Veil put this
song over the edge from good to amazing. “Stratovolcano Mouth” has a movement
that keeps you guessing, especially with a fierce breakdown that catches you
off guard. There’s a constant ebb and flow in this album, from mellow to
intense, which is well illustrated in “Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together.”

There are some less than stellar moments in Illuminaudio. While still catchy, “His
Story Repeats Itself” is just mediocre, and the ending track, “Closed Eyes
Still Look Forward,” is slow moving and laden with electronic effects that
ruins the simple beauty of Bolmer’s voice and lyrics of the song. This album is
much more electronically influenced, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but
sometimes works against the impressive musicianship of Chiodos.


Illuminaudio is
filled with catchy melodies and memorable lyrics, with the heavy sound fans
crave mixed with new elements that are inevitable with the introduction of a
new lead vocalist. It seems that the band is trying to grow and establish a new
sound. Bolmer is a more than competent replacement for Craig Owens (although he
will be missed by Owens lovers.) His voice has a richness and character that
can hold its own (check out “Notes in Constellations for a great representation
of his vocal ability.)

While not what people may be used to from the band, Illuminaudio is a solid album with
intricate instrumentals, moments of mellowness that explodes into a fury of
intensity, and a mix of melodic vocals with ferocious screaming that capture
attention from beginning to end. Fans will embrace the album, ex-fans will
probably hate it, but if all emotions are put aside, this album is obviously a
success in proving that Chiodos can clearly stand without Owens.

4 stars

(for more information about the details behind each song, check out

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