This is not an album for kids who listen to metal. This is for the adults… Extremely complex, smart, and has twists and turns in every song.
Focus on the Center is a full-on musical ensemble of talent. If you are looking for 5 to 8 chords and a chance to bob your head for 3 minutes at a pop, you will be sorely disappointed. If you are looking for something that will take you in several different directions both musically and emotionally, this is your album. Every song has different moods and changes that really set them apart from a lot of bands in their genre.
Chrysalis was formed in Barstow, CA, in 2003. The current line up consists of Jesse Elledge (vocals/guitar), Billy Norris (drums), Jared Sturgis (bass), Noel Castillo (keyboards), and Chris Norris (guitar).
You may know them from their self-titled album that was released in 2006. After Chrysalis was released, they found themselves in the 2009 Warped Tour. After Warped, they played on several stages along with bands like Agent Orange, TSOL, and A Day To Remember. Now they have returned with Focus on the Center, and have given us some great additions to their already impressive catalog of songs.
The first few seconds of “Sounds of the Playground” makes you think you are about to listen to a dance album… That’s the only few seconds that you get that feeling. It then brings you in and out of emo metal and harsh hardcore metal. It then hits a low, acoustic-style bridge that almost makes you think they changed the song on you. Once the piano comes in, you get even more interested in the next move; then they put you right back into a fast-paced push of angst to finish off the song.
“Saturn Awaits” has more depth and really brings Jared’s bass out into the open for a more tough sound. Then it brings out a few unexpected turns, as well… Even a little of a blues feel, until it also will pull you right back into its metal roots.
“Instant Silence” has to be the most complex song on the list. It opens with a catchy, light feel and then runs into a lot of emotion in and out of the song. The song was written for Jeff Davis, who was a good friend of the band and sang for Lindbergh Skies before he passed away.
Every song on the album has something different to add to the set. The only real similarity in every song is that they keep your interest.
The album will be released on February 11th, and can be found on iTunes for you to preview. If you like a more advanced approach to metal music, this will be a great addition to your collection. This is a band that really allows itself the opportunity to explore its talents. Its members play way outside of the box and can pull you into their world very easily. All you have to do is listen and let go.
Hold on to your Vans.