Chiodos – Bone Palace Ballet
Release Date: September 4, 2007
Record Label: Equal Vision
Each major company has a flagship product. Nike has their Air Jordan line, Apple is more popular than ever thanks to the iPod, and when you think McDonalds, you think Big Mac. Well, comparatively speaking, Chiodos’ second album, Bone Palace Ballet, is Equal Vision’s flagship album of 2007. With their debut album, 2005’s All’s Well That Ends Well, selling over 100k (which caused a re-issue of said album in 2006) and being one of the most popular bands on this year’s circuit of the Warped Tour, Equal Vision has big plans involving Chiodos taking over.
Produced by Casey Bates (Gatsby’s American Dream, Fear Before The March Of Flames), Bone Palace Ballet is shorter than the debut, therefore making the album much easier to digest, as All’s Well tended to get on the repetitive side after a while. The piano is also much more of a focal point on Ballet, carrying many tracks including the ballad “Intensity In Ten Cities.”
But the high-powered vocals and guitar work are still very present throughout the album. Beginning with a few heavy breaths from vocalist Craig Owens, “Is It Progression If A Cannibal Uses A Fork?” kicks off the album with a titillating piano sequence and machine gun drumming until the guitars kick in with Owens’ high-pitched wail. “Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money, Pigs Get Slaughtered” has a waltzy undertone to it and features guests vocals from Jesse Korman (The Number 12 Looks Like You) and Nick Martin (Underminded). “A Letter From Janelle” is emotionally heavy, while “I Didn’t Say I Was Powerful, I Said I Was A Wizard” is a fast paced track taking aim at the band’s critics.
“Teeth The Size Of Piano Keys” is a swift kick in the scrotum, as Owens’ screaming dominates the intro. The song is unrelenting throughout, with Owens’ proclaiming that “there was no living creature as foul as I/and all my poems were false.” The orchestration displayed in “Life Is A Perception Of Your Own Reality” adds a different element to Chiodos’ sound, and “If I Cut My Hair, Hawaii Will Sink” is vintage Chiodos. The aforementioned “Intensity In Ten Cities” is all piano, and sets up the closing track beautifully. Martin joins Owens on vocals again in pulse-pounding “The Undertaker’s Thirst For Revenge Is Unquenchable (The Final Battle).” It closes out the album in dramatic style, as it is the hardest track on the album. The only flaw is the cheesy poetry recited by Owens at the very end. It does not deter from the final track, though, as it finishes out Bone Palace Ballet on a high note.
Unless you were born yesterday, it is fairly obvious that Chiodos is not a favorite of the majority of users on the site. Whether it be their image, their sudden rise to popularity, their ridiculous song titles, or people being sick of the genre, they are a band many love to hate. Yes sometimes the lyrics are little cliché, and to be honest, Bone Palace Ballet will not change opinions, as it is a progression from All’s Well That Ends Well. But Chiodos does the genre well, fusing harmony with chaos that very few bands can pull off, plus Owen's vocals are fantastic. Chiodos have only begun to take over the world, but Bone Palace Ballet is a nice step in that direction.