EP REVIEW: Inch of Dark - Chapter No 1 (EP)
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist: Inch of Dark
Album: Chapter No.1
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Hard Rock, Alternative Rock, Alternative Metal
Sounds Like: Soundgarden, Tool, Five Finger Death Punch, Audioslave, Alice in Chains
Weakness: EP Release, Background Vocal Performances, More Vocal Risks
Inch of Dark is a four piece hard rock band originally from Vail, Colorado. In September of 2012 the band relocated to Austin, TX as the Vail ski resort area was not a viable place for a hard rock band to grow a fan base. Formed in early 2010, Inch of Dark draws from Rock, Metal and Blues and spits it back in your face with modern hard rock flair. I.O.D.’s mainstream yet uncompromising original sound, characterized by the unique baritone lead vocals of Jerome Chwalek, can best be described as if Godsmack and Alice in Chains are doing shots at the bar and Black Label Society is the bartender. Band members include: Jerome Chwalek (Lead Vocals/Lead Guitar), Chad MacKenzie (Rythem Guitar), Garret Parvin (Bass/Back-up Vocals), Ryan Horn (Drums).
The EP kicks things off with “Breakpoint Now” a slamming rock groove that serves up sonic vocal intro, driving rock rhythm against no holds barred guitar attack meshed against against foreboding vocal presence from Chwalek. Track 2 keeps things rocking with “Serial K” a dynamic yet melodic follow-up piece that serves up methodical musical build against heartfelt vocal delivery that flows and ebbs its way thought to emotional fruition. Track 3 “Failure” shifts gears a bit with a more dynamic piece dishing out hooky vocal harmonies meshed against solid low end groove and a grand slam chorus. As the EP quickly unfolds I can hear influences ranging from Soundgarden, Tool, Audioslave with perhaps a dash of Five finger Death Punch and even Alice in Chains. The music has everything you would expect from a high octane power driven hard rock EP. The musical style refuses to be pinned down, the vocals are amazing, gritty and are deep in your grill. The guitar playing is hot to the touch. There are also touches of Classic Jam band but with a modern Psychedelic-Rock to Hard Rock aftertaste. Chwalek’s vocal style works extremely well with this style of music with its stereotypical jagged edge delivery. I might add the timing is spot on and his vocal intensity is off the charts. I also noticed a few hot to the touch guitar solos along the way. Rhythm section - lays down the low end groove thick as a brick. What I like most about the music is its sheer intensity; note for note and song for song. By track 3 the EP hits solid stride dishing out many impressive songs in a row. Like a heavy weight boxer the songs keep coming at you one after the other - with no sign of letting up. The EP wraps things up with hypnotic “Throttlecase” the perfect finale statement for a EP of this caliber.
I typically don’t give 10 star ratings out to EP’s. The full length releases is a more complete musical snapshot in which to judge an artists by at any given time. All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. It’s fair to say Parvin needs to drop some cash on a few vocal lessons. I also wish Chwalek let loose a little bit more vocally taking more vocal risks and showcasing a nicely placed primal scream every now and then.
This latest release from Inch of Dark is a solid musical statement from start to finish. Its strength – the raw song for song intensity that keeps coming at you. The music is clean yet gritty, rock solid, heavy and consistent. Like a heavy weight fighter this EP packs a powerful punch, and goes the full 12 rounds with no sign of letting up. Like a 1-2 punch the song keep coming at you, one after the other until you’re ready to tap out. What am I trying to say? Inch o Dark rocks - that’s what.