BY JOHN BRENNER OF REVELATION
Since 1992, guitarist Josh Hart and drummer Chad Rush have been writing Chowder’s music, bringing together their early exposure to doom metal, progressive rock, and hardcore. Although he originally played bass in Maryland metal bands Revelation and Unorthodox, Hart took to the guitar for writing his own material. Once original bassist Joe Ruthvin left the band for MD doom stalwarts Earthride, Chowder remained in limbo until finding bassist Doug Williams. Doug came to Chowder from the hardcore scene’s Next Step Up, a band that would feature at different times all three current members of Chowder. The band recorded demos in the 90s, but it wasn’t until 2007 that Chowder recorded their debut EP, released on Bland Hand Records.
Immediately after recording the EP, Chowder’s ambitions broadened and deepened. Taking their unique vision even further, they wrote a new song, titled “Passion Rift,” which would become the epic title cut for their first full-length album.
Nearly two years in the making, “Passion Rift” encompasses everything that makes Chowder a great band: off-kilter arrangements, abrupt time-changes, memorable melodies, creepy dissonances, top-notch songwriting, performances, and arrangements, and a true passion for making heavy music. Tastefully strewn throughout the record are analog and digital keyboards, cello, and various samples and sound effects, giving a texture to the songs that grows more rewarding with each listen.
Songs such as “The Innsmouth Look” and “Head Full of Rats,” with their forward-rushing, unrelenting progressive metal, sit next to atmospheric pieces such as “Mazuku” and “Mysterioid,” in a mix part hardcore, part Lovecraft, and part autobiography. And then there is the epic title cut “Passion Rift,” as big in its scope as “Hemispheres” (Rush), a journey through a landscape at times peaceful, tense, melancholic, aggressive, and nightmarish. This is music that communicates something important, and it does so without lyrics or vocals.
Born in hardcore, bred on metal, and nourished by prog, Chowder’s all-instrumental music allows Josh’s precision arrangements and heavy guitar playing, Chad’s technical yet propulsive drumming, and Doug’s deep bass anchoring to rattle walls and turn heads.
FORMAT: CD CATALOG N. IVR-011
1. Mysterioid (02:47)
2. The Innsmouth Look (03:42)
3. Salt Creep (04:56)
4. Passion Rift (18:18)
5. Insidious (04:40)
6. Head Full Of Rats (01:40)
7. Mazuku (03:31)
8. Custody (11:00)
Total time 50:34
Josh Hart : 6 and 12 string guitars, synthesizers, mellotron, theremin
Doug Williams : bass guitars, taurus pedals, electric cello
Chad Rush : drums
CD in jewelcase with 8-page booklet. Released June 26th, 2012
CHOWDER is the amazing creature of Josh Hart, a true veteran of Maryland’s doom metal scene, having played bass with seminal bands like Asylum, Unorthodox, Revelation, and – more recently – Earthride. With him, the acrobatic rhythm section of Doug Williams and Chad Rush. For CHOWDER, Josh Hart has switched to guitar and keys, with which he writes and plays twisted, dark riffs of doom with a progressive approach.
After the eponymous debut EP produced by John Brenner of Revelation, CHOWDER are ready to take the doom metal scene by storm with “Passion Rift”, their first and all-instrumental album.
A rollercoaster of deep emotions and dark Lovecraftian visions played with sublime technique to please those into The Obsessed, The Hidden Hand, Revelation and the most adventurous sounds of doom. The sleeper has awakened…