Chevalier – A Call to Arms [Vinyl] (2018) REVIEW

Even if you’ve already dug into this Finnish epic speed/heavy metal band’s output last year the main reason to grab this 12″ vinyl issue of their 2017 debut EP is it’s selectively remastered sound and stunning sleeve design. The remastered elements essentially elevate the previous basement recorded demo sound to a level appropriate enough to hear the fantastic guitar work on display. Nothing is lost in the balancing of levels and the amplified bass and guitar work makes for an even more engrossing journey across 33 of the finest minutes of epic speed metal in recent memory. If you haven’t heard Chevalier at all before tune your expectations towards Brocas Helm, early Chastain, and classic French speed metal a la ADX and Titan.

By old school heavy metal record standards 33 minutes is more or less a full-length anyhow and the juiced up sound of this issue makes it feel all the more like a professional release from the mid-to-late 80’s. With the blazing guitar work standing out even more in the mix the echoing howls and unique delivery from vocalist Emma Grönqvist becomes even more vital for the sound and true metal atmosphere of Chevalier‘s sound. If you can imagine a slap of reverb on pre-‘Engine Beast’ Acid vocals but with the music and production from Evil‘s ‘Evil’s Message’ record you get a pretty good idea of what Chevalier sound like, just not quite as ‘epic’ in tone as the actual listening experience.

Any chance I get to write about and listen to Chevalier I’m excited because they capture an era of heavy/speed metal better than most while giving it their own spin. The ultimate draw for most heavy metal fans will be the guitar work and that is the one major element of the songwriting that pulls me in for several repeat listens each time I fire up ‘A Call to Arms’. The interplay and pure metal riffing between the two guitarists Mikko and Tommi is impeccably tuned towards the epic spectrum of old school heavy metal but always pushes forward with razor sharp speed metal guitar riffs that never feel like ‘pedestrian’ thrash. I’d say this is well worth buying for the better sound quality alone, and I’m wondering if the MCD has the same boost to it’s levels because this is, so far the definitive version of these tracks.

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Artist Chevalier
Type EP
Released March 4, 2017 [Digital] | April 27, 2018 [Vinyl MLP]
BUY MLP/MCD from Cruz Del Sur Music/Gates of Hell Website!

PREVIEW on Chevalier’s Bandcamp!

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Genres

Break the chains the tyrant cast. 4.25/5.0

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