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Forthcoming Releases - 9th February 2009 

Chapterxiii - Single - Valentine

Loosely residing in and around the South-West, Chapterxiii are a five-piece, pleasingly melodic, rock outfit and the sumptuous 'Valentine' is their latest single release. At a time when so many 'rock' bands are charging, seemingly blindly, down the metal/thrash/hardcore route it's great to find that there are still outfits that are prepared to stick to the well tried and tested British rock ethos of supplying great riffy rockin' tunes that comprise melody, well drafted lyrics, sensitive playing and accessible vocals - Chapterxiii, as you will have guessed are just such an outfit.
'Valentine' is a beautifully balanced pop-rockster that contains a hefty degree of commercial sensibility and opens up doors from many directions allowing access for rock-heads of several persuasions. 'Valentine', dare I say it, is great British rock as I grew up knowing it; hard and energetic but with well proportioned subtlety and that certain 'timeless' feel, plenty of singalongability but still with masses of head-bangin' possibilities. 'B' side, 'Just Because Of You', demonstrates that the excellent Chapterxiii don't entirely ignore some of the contemporary elements of metal mayhem by thrashing out an up-tempo work that introduces pacey riffs and 21st century knee-jerkin' percussion whilst retaining a strong hold on instrumental balance and showing a great understanding of vocal dynamics within the ensuing instrumental melee!
'Valentine' and 'Just Because Of You' by Chapterxiii sit together to form a great piece of modern rock that's living proof that rock music is alive and well and bubbling under somewhere in and around the Bristol area - smashin' stuff!!

(Rhythm & Booze rating 9)

Chapter XIII - Dream Salvation (Levelsound)
UK release date: 10 April 2007

track listing

1. Lucky Day 2. The Last Time 3. Miss Me When I'm Dead 4. Lately 5. I'm Alive 6. Don't Break Me Down 7. Dream Salvation
8. Hit Me 9. Dust To Dust 10. Happening Now 11. Fall 12. Welcome To The Real World 13. Cold Black Tea

There's a reason why rock records can't be marked or scored like job applications. Let's imagine, for a moment, that a form was produced to do just that, with lots of tick-boxes and sections to be marked loosely out of three or five. Expertly played funky slap bass? Get a point. Confident vocal delivery in an American style? Two points. Efficient plucking of numerous musical nostalgia strings from well-loved rock anthems? Maybe ten points - it's a big winner with the punters, after all.
The thing is, such a score-sheet would likely mark out Dream Salvation as one of the rock albums of the year. It ticks all the right boxes, and does so with professionalism and vigour. That score would be wrong, though. This is a very good album, don't get me wrong, but there's something missing here, and it's stopping Chapter XIII realising the awesome potential they clearly have.
Let's get back to those good bits, though, as there are many. Chapter XIII may be from Bristol, but they've clearly got their hearts in California funk-rock. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam and especially Faith No More are clear influences throughout, along with a dash of West Coast progressive house music to boot. Like Faith No More, they throw a huge variety of genres into the mix, and similarly pull most of them together with controlled precision and flair.
Opener Lucky Day kicks off with a spiky synth intro and electronic drums before introducing all the ingredients that swim in the Chapter XIII stew - spiky slap bass ala Billy Gould, epic guitar breaks and absurdly infectious keyboard flurries. Previous single The Last Time goes one better on all of these. It almost stands up to Faith No More in their Real Thing period, although minus Patton (which is a big minus).
On Lately and I'm Alive, Chapter XIII drift firmly into Chili Peppers territory, and the worry signs start to appear. Both are good tracks, and verge on greatness at times, but there's that niggling something hidden amongst the cheesy guitar breaks. Then on Don't Break Me Down it hits - vocalist Mark Nelmes is sounding just that bit too much like Anthony Kiedis. Except that's just when he's in Kiedis Territory. Check out Hit Me, with its oh-so Pearl Jam riff and all of a sudden he sounds more like Eddie Vedder. He never sounds like Mike Patton, but in fairness no-one but Patton himself has ever managed that. You never get the feeling that you know what Nelmes' own vocal style is - it just sounds like a collage of his influences.
The myriad of ideas and sources that have gone into Dream Salvation have been well glued together, but (despite great production throughout) the edges still show. There's some really bizarre keyboard moments here too, especially on the Robert Miles style piano motif to Dust To Dust which, just like the rest, is still a really good song. Go figure.
Also, given the comparisons above, it's all very safe. Where the Chili's had Kiedis' libido, Faith No More had the insanity of Patton and Fishbone had the insanity of the whole band, there's just no rock 'n' roll danger here. In this aspect Dream Salvation is almost like the Rasmus' second album - often superb, but much derided as it's just not all that rock'n'roll.
Get to the absurdly poppy closing track - which is almost boy-band material - and you can't help feel that this must be intentional. Maybe that's where we need to put the all these concerns aside. As a pop-rock album, Dream Salvation is superb, and, given the right exposure, it's got hit potential written all over it. It's a great rock album too, but in this respect they're setting themselves a much tougher goal.
Dream Salvation has a habit, in its best moments, of reminding us of even better moments from bands that came before. This can only make them seem second best. They've got the chops, they just need the attitude. After all, if they want to be kings of the pond, they're going to have to make like Yertle the Turtle and climb up on top to assert their glory.

Chapter XIII - Dream Salvation
Chapter XIII are set to release their debut album 'Dream Salvation' with Levelsound Music on the 10th April.

Chapter XIII are a five piece from Bristol with Gareth on guitars / vocals, Mark on bass guitar and vocals, EJ on drums, Chris on keyboards and Paul (or Tadpole…) on guitar and vocals. The music of Chapter XIII offers a rich and prolific song base with varying music styles and influences.

They present an eclectic brew of metal, pop and trance. A pounding drum and bass back line, occasionally bordering on traumatism. Vocals flow through hardcore husky rock to Beach Boys harmonies with a strange ease.

The band had rave reviews when they released their debut single 'Miss Me When I'm Dead' last year:

"Enjoyable and promising first single - I look forward to hearing the album"

"I could listen to this all day" -

'Dream Salvation' is a stunning introduction to the band who can not be pigeon-holed as they will surprise and exceed expectations.

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Gareth Marshall, frontman and lead singer left the band in early 2008.

He was replaced by Lee McCrory