The Chosen One


When a band ages, we as listeners are often exposed to one underwhelming new release […]
By Jack Lynch
May 28, 2019
Destrage - The Chosen One album cover

When a band ages, we as listeners are often exposed to one underwhelming new release after another, therefore making us long for the earlier days of when the word "new" meant something. Every so often there is a glimmer of hope and a band comes along that only gets better with age. They're steadfast at pushing down their own barriers by trudging into new territory in miraculous fashion, while still retaining the very elements of what we loved about them in the first place. DESTRAGE is that very band, and with four spectacular albums already in the books, the band's fifth installment "The Chosen One" doesn't show signs of that changing anytime soon.

Starting things off appropriately enough with the track "The Chosen One", we get a minute-long intro of furious guitar tapping that busts the doors open on bouncy riffs and ferocious vocals telling us of our fearful nature. Guitarists Matteo Di Gioia and Ralph Salati are in full control as the song fires on all cylinders and ends with the catchiest breakdown the band has ever written. If you aren't jumping out of your Pumas, then check your pulse, watch your speed limit on the highway, cause this song is an instant classic. Now, we've all heard the age old self-descriptivism some lead vocalists drops during an interview with a magazine; "our sound doesn't fit any one genre" or "we incorporate all styles of music", but very few bands can claim the mantle of being truly genre bending. Perhaps this is because it takes a certain level of creative fearlessness, intellect, and craftsmanship to successfully pull off. The ability for a band to weaponize what they've learned in order to improve on what they lacked isn't the way it usually goes in this landscape. Sure, some bands get an "A" for effort whilst attempting to venture into new areas, but as Einstein once said, "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."

DESTRAGE on the other hand, has that unique ability to excel outside of their comfort zone. Relying on a grounded foundation in Metalcore that throws previous structural norms of the genre to the wind in the pursuit of something truly progressive. This time around DESTRAGE expands their sound by exploring the space between each chaotic breakdown. Tracks such as "About That", "At the Cost of Pleasure", "Mr. Bugman", and "Headache and Crumb" are each magnum opuses allowing for softer moments to take center stage. Entire sections of these songs are dedicated to chilling you out with melodic wind-in-your-face transitions, before blasting you to the finish line at mind boggling velocity. It all comes together remarkably well, though not surprising given the caliber of the songwriters at hand.

It goes without saying that DESTRAGE is one of the most exciting bands I've heard in years. This stems from the fact that the band doesn't take themselves too seriously.  While they have their moments in the dark, they occupy very little time there. The fore mentioned tracks "Mr. Bugman" (one of my favorites), and "Headache and Crumbs" showcase their fun-filled, wackier nature. You'll be more inclined to want to party than to dwell in the anxiety of death and destruction. Are you feeling the effects of over population, joblessness, and a dying world? Take one DESTRAGE album and call me in the morning.

Now I've spent enough time telling you the "Yang", but let's mention some "Yin". The last song "The Gifted One" is a refurbished version of the opening track "The Chosen One", and while it displays some impressive vocal work from the underappreciated Paolo Colavolpe, the song does very little to reinvent the wheel. In the end it feels more like a momentum shift against the grain and left me wondering if our Italian friends hit some writers block on their way to perfection.  With the album clocking in at about 37 minutes, the experience is over just as it is catching its stride. I'll always welcome quality over quantity, it just would've felt more fitting to take us somewhere new before sending us on our way.

However, this small observation does very little to dampen "The Chosen One" and it's replay factor. This is a band that has developed a body of work that lends itself to discovery each time you fire up an album. My second time around I was so engaged with Federico Paulovich's commanding control of drum fills on "Hey Stranger" that I wondered how I missed it the first time. Moments like this are the reason why the rewind button was invented. It is important to allow your brain to take this album in, then cleanse your pallet, and go back and listen to the band's previous discography. Upon returning you'll find a band more focused and matured, but still just as energized. "The Chosen One" stands tall among the best the band has written.  If there was any doubt in your mind, then you'll be reassured, that DESTRAGE is a lightning bolt of creativity rarely witnessed in metal.

10 / 10









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"The Chosen One" Track-listing:

1. The Chosen One
2. About That
3. Hey, Stranger!
4. At the Cost of Pleasure
5. Mr. Bugman
6. Rage, My Alibi
7. Headache and Crumbs
8. The Gifted One

Destrage Lineup:

Paolo Colavolpe - Vocal
Matteo Di Gioia - Guitar
Gabriel Pignata - Bass
Ralph Salati - Guitar
Federico Paulovich - Drums

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