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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Megan Poe
Opinion Editor

My name is Megan Poe and I’m an English (writing concentration) and Philosophy double major at Northern. My concurrent experience with being published in and interning for literary magazines has landed...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Chiodos creates pleasurable mayhem

When Craig Owens, former frontman for Chiodos, left the band under controversial circumstances, a lot of fans were skeptical of the band’s future. Owens was the face of Chiodos and his signature voice made Chiodos the band that it was.

With both Craig Owens and drummer Derrick Frost gone, only four original members of Chiodos were left. Would Chiodos be the same with a third of its membership changed?

In “Illuminaudio,” the band proves it can still be just as loud and exciting, even with new frontman Brandon Bolmer and new drummer Tanner Wayne.

From the very first track, Illuminaudio takes the listener on a sonic journey through piano, crashing drums, sound vocals and lightning fast guitar. The tracks progress forward as if this album were written to be listened to from start to finish, in sequential order –– a rarity in our modern era.

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The first track works beautifully to put the listener in a place of contemplation. “On different roads I’ve traveled / But I remain the same,” Bolmer sings over the slow and quiet feedback of the guitars. It seems certain he’s reflecting on the changed status of the band that he himself has just joined.

From there, we’re taken into Wayne’s impressive drum debut which opens “Caves,” the second track on the album. The music here is spot on, although the lyrics leave much to be desired.

“Love is a Cat From Hell” is also a strong track, with stronger lyrics and a nice interplay between the vocals, guitar and drums.

Fans used to Owens’ nasal whine may be disappointed with this album. Bolmer offers a deeper, albeit yet still nasally, voice to these tracks. The vocals on Illuminaudio sound like early Burt McCracken on The Used’s self-titled.

The airy, dreamy music of “Notes in Constellation” really stays with the listener. Here, Bolmer really comes into his own with one of the catchiest choruses on the whole album.

New drummer Wayne and guitarists Jason Hale and Pat McManaman work beautifully together, most notably on the tracks “His Story Repeats Itself,” and “Stratovolcano Mouth,” when drums and riffs take turns filling the air almost competitively.

The result is an attack on the ears that forces the listener to bob his or her head at least a little. This song is also one of the stronger tracks for Bolmer, whose vocals really shine here.

From the crashing noise of “Stratovolcano Mouth,” we are taken into the smooth, slow beginning of “Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together,” where the piano makes us contemplative again before attacking us with more fine drum work by newcomer Wayne.

Songs like “His Story Repeats Itself” and “Stratovolcano Mouth” are seamless, as though the new line-up has been working together for years rather than just since February.

Musically, “Illuminaudio” is a pleasurable mayhem, a blend of harsh riffs and crooning vocals. Any doubts of Chiodos’ survival after Owens’ departure should be erased after a thorough listen of this album.

For fans that were worried after Owens departure that Chiodos might not be able to survive, rest assured –– by all signs, they’re definitely not going anywhere.

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