by Rémi

A supercharged cocktail of old school metal guitars and Wax Trax-era industrial music, CHMCL STR8JCKT, once again delivers music with a unique flavor in collaboration with John Bechdel (Ministry). After a self-titled album in 2017, RMX in 2018, Wrtchd Thngs in 2019 and WRTCH RMXS in 2020, DRK PRGRSSN makes its debut. With no less than 17 tracks, including 3 bonus tracks, there is plenty here to please fans of the genre and music lovers of all backgrounds. DRK PRGRSSN is available since February 12, 2021 in digital and CD formats.

CHMCL STR8JCKT handles the composition perfectly. Making an album with a large number of tracks can sometimes be a tricky process. The musical language can stagnate and bore the ear, but this is a concern that the band avoids with brilliance. There is always something new to listen to in DRK PRGRSSN, a sound, harmonies, energies and moods.

Among the moments that stood out for me was “Tendril and Blade,” a track that has literally two speeds. The choruses go faster than the verses which creates a very catchy driving effect and contrast between the two parts. “Texas” unleashes phenomenal power with its thick riff and whiplash, a sound design element used rhythmically that immerses us in a dark Texas atmosphere. In “1911,” rough-sounding synthesizers are brought to the surface, blending perfectly with the vocals. Whether it is in “Death of Lucille” with its dark and organic electro atmosphere or the more horrific “Harpy,” the key word of DRK PRGRSSN is diversity and that suits it very well.

However, if each track offers something different to listen to the whole remains very homogeneous, sign that the musicians of CHMCL STR8JCKT found and master their sound identity to the smallest details. DRK PRGRSSN is deliciously grating, powerful and incisive. It’s a real melting pot where metal, punk, hard rock and industrial music are deconstructed and then reshaped into a fascinating musical beast.

Translation: Joanne Gagnon

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