As a well-loved children’s book once read, ‘there’s no such thing as a dragon…’. Tell that to Leeds’ very own metal mythical creature hunters: Chasing Dragons. Forged in the dawn of 2014, this fierce quartet hammer out the drums of war and slay with hard-hitting, gutsy riffs.
Releasing delicious morsels of music in a handful of EPs in their journey so far have given fans a little taste of what Chasing Dragons are capable of, which is pure and unadulterated thunderous rock. They say good things come to those who wait, and boy did they deliver with their debut album ‘Faction’. Fasten your seatbelts ladies and gentlemen, and prepare yourselves for the most intense, unforgettable power rock experience.
The sound of an eerie heart monitor dancing behind vocalist Tank’s opening words is the first thing that greets the ears with this record. ‘Factionless’ sees the first breaths of life and with the help of drummer Katie Bullock, it builds into a truly formidable opening track.
Fans will recognise a handful of these tracks on this record as they have been released previously through music videos and teaser EP ‘Faction: Prologue’. Infectious track ‘Devil in her Eyes’ is one such example, which delivers delicious pinched harmonics that send literal tingles across your skin. Penultimate track ‘Whitehorse’ is another familiar face, which sees Tank’s voice soar in its electronic opening, coupled with driving riffs from guitarist Adam Smith. It is truly wonderful to hear these tracks in their full, polished glory.
But what probably is the most incredible aspect of this record is the integration of new tracks into the ‘Faction’ story, which demonstrate an enormous amount of talent from each member of the Dragons.
Leading singles ‘Like Gravity’ and ‘Parasite’ explode with a heavy yet catchy quality that you can’t help but fall in love with. The way the former track builds with intriguing, domineering riffs is mesmerising, and has a gritty music video to match. Raunchy track ‘Bareknuckle Lover’ follows with a sassy feel and excites with its head-bopping chorus you’ll be singing along with in a hot minute.
A delicate opening from ‘This Time is Ours’ shows Tank’s vocals shine against simple riffs and gentle percussion, and is a wonderful change of pace in this eclectic album. Piano led track ‘The Connection’ in particular would show any vulnerabilities that Tank may possess, which is seemingly physically impossible for this incredible vocalist. Close your eyes and you can see the story she is so eloquently painting with her words, it’s haunting and beautiful to behold. Heavy riffs truly bring what could be quite an underrated song out of the shadows, making this a true highlight of the album.
What Chasing Dragons do best is keep you on your toes with ballsy and sometimes quirky riffs and heavy bass, topped nicely off with pounding drums, as seen in ‘I’m No Devil (I’m Just a Girl)’ and ‘How the World Went Black’. You could never blame the quartet for being boring, or playing it safe, for every corner in every song could take you down another dark path. You don’t know where on earth you are going to end up, but boy it’s exciting just to be on this journey. Bringing this record to a close with metal anthem ‘We Are the Wall’ sees the amalgamation of all their talents rolled into one: war cries, enviably erratic and complex guitars and for one last time, delightful, endless and perfect vocals that you could simply die for.
They possess a raw and potent talent that is rarely seen in this genre of music, refusing to conform to what many other mundane, generic artists look and sound like. In a week or in a month, you will still know exactly who Chasing Dragons are and you will never forget their amazingly bold, dominating and gutsy brand of hard-rock. These guys are definitely ones to watch as they begin their journey to conquer the rock and metal world.