Overall Score: 10/10
Riffs: 10/10
Melody: 10/10
Evolution: 8/10
Pros: Ferocious riffs and strong melodies wrapped in complex, challenging song structures
Cons: I... ah.... erm..... fuck it. I quit

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, British rock & metal music is in extremely rude health at the moment. Chapters, despite being in the general consciousness for several years after high profile touring with Sylosis are no exception to the rule. Debut album ‘The Imperial Skies’ binds together a huge variety of different influences; the technical precision of Megadeth, Death-esque disorientating time signatures all wrapped up in intriguing progressive metal song structures.

Many bands would be tempted to keep things simple and set out the foundations of their sound on a debut album. Not Chapters. ‘Imperial Skies’ goes the opposite route, offering challenging and complex song structures. The Siren announces itself in a flurry of acoustic guitars, before devolving into a soundscape of angular riffs then exiting in a squall of guitar feedback. ‘The Ecliptic Circle’ blends Pink Floyd guitar work with strings and rich female vocals before diving headfirst into the progressive masterpiece that is the title track.

Yet, good as the songs are, an album is nothing without structure – something Imperial Skies has aplenty. Be it the majesty of afore-mentioned title track or the Neolithic axe-grind of ‘The Siren’ each song has its own distinct identity. There is definitely a sense of the high’s and lows integral to great albums on ‘Imperial Skies,’ and a great album ‘Imperial Skies’ is. There will be no “waiting for the second album” before making up your mind. From the progressive flourishes of ‘I Will Reign Forever’ until the final, relentless, barrage of riffs in ‘Chapters’ The Imperial Skies is a classic.

The Imperial Skies is released today (14th October 2013) as a self released album. To pick up the album, head over to Chapters’ official merchandise store – https://www.chapters.bigcartel.com/ It can also be downloaded from iTunes.