Christian Artists To Know: The Chariot


The Chariot

Genre: Metal
Styles: Metalcore, Avant-Metal, Chaotic Hardcore
Location: Douglasville, GA
Label: Solid State
Christian Label: Yes
Category: The Message whats this?

In 2004, metalcore fans were presented with a  grey and black colored album named Everything Is Alive, Everything Is Breathing, Nothing Is Dead, Nothing Is Bleeding.  After the ritual wrestling match that takes place with music buyers and the ridiculously hard packaging that CDs are housed in, the disc meets the CD player and ears await.  Feedback, then static creep out the speakers. An almost tribal drum roll begins, and then a raspy, animalistic voice cries out from the noise:

Ten thousand times, ten thousand
Walking and marching and running and pressing on!
Step by step, to the grave, marching on
You have a  song: unsung
I sing a new song, falling on deaf ears

For the next 30 or so minutes, the world became aware of a force that has remained unrivaled since the first note of that song. Combing brutal grit, with art-house mentality and chaotic approach, that force calls itself, The Chariot.  Although there have been many members in the band over the years, The Chariot is musical projection of frontman Josh Scogin.  Josh was one of the founding members of  Luti-Kriss, who, after a major music direction change in 2002 became known as Norma Jean. Despite critical adoration for the bands debut as Norma Jean, Bless The Martyr Kiss The Child, Josh left the band at the seeming height of their career. He took close to a year and a half off, and returned with The Chariot. Josh has said that he wanted to “create something out of nothing” with his new project. He did, something that most people didn’t see coming.  His vocal presence may have  reminded people of his former band, but people quickly realized that there was something completely different about Josh’s new endeavor.

The Chariot are what pure emotion and struggle can sound like in metal.  The band does not rely on straight rhythm or tricky instrument work to create there music. In fact, their approach is almost minimalistic, relying on walls of feedback, guitar squeals, and cymbal crashes to fill most of their songs.  Josh’s vocals are brutal, filled with desperation and expression. The lyrics are cryptic, poetic, and intelligent. The songs twist and turn very quickly through one part after unrelenting part. Small blasts of chaos. Although this description may not appeal to most casual fans, truly unique  bands in the metal and hardcore scene are rare. The Chariot, instead of taking notes from the popular music trends in the heavy scene, seemingly pull more elements from band like Converge and Fear Before The March Of Flames to create their original compositions.  They continually push themselves and test their fan’s loyalties by exploring new avenues of hard with with every new song, every note, every scream.

2007′s The Fiance’e further solidified the band’s reputation as innovators. This time around, choir choruses, broken record distortion, and harmonica solos (provided by Aaron Wiess of mewithoutYou no less) diversified the band’s sound past its metalcore roots. Josh and the gang made a truly original album that  blew away critics and fans alike.  It was on this album the band toured their heaviest, introducing the world to their chaotic sound and to heavy music’s best front man, Josh. Their live shows play on the theatrical combined with pure anarchist stage presence.  There are few shows like a Chariot show. In fact, it is frequent that Josh is injured several times during a tour, but he has never met a stack of speakers he didn’t want to climb or a crowd he didn’t want to throw himself into.

well, I mean,….oh…just watch for yourself..

As I said before, The Chariot, despite the fact that it takes many people to make a band work, is the heart of Josh Scogin at its core.  Josh very much has always dedicated himself to making his faith part of his art, no matter how crazy or loud that may be.  While the video above gives you a glimpse in to his more chaotic side, the one below deals with the true meaning of his desire to be on stage. Sorry about the commercial at the end there, this speech was taken from a performance at Soulfest…I think they need to pay us now, right?

I have to be honest and say that I hated The Chariot for a long time.  I was coming high off of  Bless The Martyr Kiss The Child, and I was expecting a lot from Mr. Scogin.  What I got was..different.

It took me almost a year to get it. This isn’t metal, this isn’t Christian rock, it isn’t even music. Its art. Its taking what was, and tearing it down to begin again. It is the true expression of a gifted individual. It is the heart of a man who loves God so much that he would follow Him in to the unknown of the “new”, and speak the words the way He wanted him to. Josh may have started what is one the most successful metalcore bands on the planet, but when God called him to something different, he followed. Success was never the issue. Fans weren’t the issue. Josh wanted make the music he was put on earth to make. Like Dallas from Underoath (now in Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster), he did something completely new, and will most likely keep The Chariot train steaming ahead until God takes him somewhere else.

Lets hope that’s not soon…

You can find The Chariot’s digitally music on The Chariot

You can also find their CDs on Amazon: Everything Is Alive, Everything Is Breathing Nothing Is Dead and Nothing Is Bleeding(2004), Unsung EP
(2005), The Fiancee (2007)