The Music City quartet return with their second LP A Love to Kill For, cementing their arrival as a band to keep your eye on.
Words by Jon Garcia
There was no real plan for Chamber’s sophomore album, other than to make the kind of deranged music all four of its members listen to.
“I think it’s just in your face nonstop and that’s what we really wanted to do,” vocalist Jacob Lilly said. “If it’s all in your face nonstop 100 percent how could you not pay attention, you know?”
Hailing from Music City, Chamber bring a danger to their brand of metallic hardcore that isn’t present in many other bands today. Their frenetic brutality constantly keeps the listener at the edge of their seat, never knowing if they’ll be sliced open or beaten to death.
Influenced by the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Chariot and Zao among others, Chamber opt not just to conjure chaos for chaos’s sake. Their latest record, A Love to Kill For, has plenty of mind-blending moments, but it’s the attention to the detail of their craft and creating a cohesion out of all of the flying shrapnel that ties its entire 29-minute runtime together.
Each song stands on its own as a heavy-as-fuck, knock-someone-out piece of music, but it’s best taken in as a whole album. Riffs bleed into other riffs and very brief moments of ambience or dissonance flow from one part to the next. It becomes nearly impossible to tell when one song ends and the other begins, but it doesn’t matter. That was always the plan.
“Obviously, we want to be crazy and fucked up,” Lilly said. “But we also want to have like a little bit of payoff. Or there’s a little bit of payoff [at first] and at the end there’s an extra payoff. So it’s not just those things are noodly, fucked up panic chords or like this 5/4 riff or ⅞ riff or whatever, you know?”
It’s the sound of a band that not only knows what they are, but is confident enough to push beyond what they’re comfortable with. Lilly credits their nearly 10-year grind – crammed in vans and sweaty venues all across the country – for bonding them into four parts of a singular entity.
“I think that’s why everything in Chamber makes sense, because we’ve been playing music together for so long now,” Lilly said. “It’s just a natural progression which happens over time.”
That progression has led them to Love to Kill For, their second full-length record and a massive step up for an already promising band.
After releasing Cost of Sacrifice in 2020, the band wanted to return to the chaotic, frenetic stylings of their younger days, and continue to push the pace on how heavy and intense they could become.
“We wanted to go back to where we were as Chamber, especially for like the first EP that we released way back in the day. We wanted to be weird and fucked up, and I think that’s what we accomplished.”
Once again they teamed up with producer Randy LeBoeuf, who’s been behind records from The Acacia Strain, Dying Wish, Gideon, Jesus Piece, and fellow Nashvillians Orthodox, just to name a few. They set out to record a dangerous, fucked up album that dialed into the reasons they started playing music in the first place.
“For the record we were just like, ‘Who cares? There’s no rules,’” Lilly said. “Even Randy was like there’s no rules. Let’s do whatever we want. We didn’t care what people thought because it was what we liked and what we want to do. We all like weird shit and I think that shows on the record you know?”
From the jump they hit you with intensity and rarely – if ever – let up. The first song on the album, ‘Chamber’, starts so abruptly it nearly startles the listener, then 70 seconds later the band is already into their second track, “Retribution.” Mathy, proggy guitar howls rip over drummer Taylor Carpenter’s
A Love to Kill For doesn’t waste a single second. Whether it’s the 12 seconds of “We Followed You to the Bitter End” into the 25 second beatdown, each song is just as long as it needs to be, staying unpredictable and interesting throughout. Moods blend and shift, but unpredictability never wanes.
Though there isn’t much “prettiness” on the album, Chamber have still managed to work in bits of almost post-hardcore melody into the whirlwind, though Lilly suspects not as much as some people may want.
“[Melodies are] there, you just have to listen to it a little more closely,” he said. “I feel like the dynamic was enough to catch the people off guard, but still keep them intrigued. I feel like ‘A Love to Kill For’ is one of my favorite songs on the record because it’s different. A lot of people probably expected it to be the last song on the record but it wasn’t. I think that’s what makes it one of the coolest songs on the record.”
They’re extremely proud of A Love to Kill For and have spent the summer of 2023 touring the US with Orthodox, Momentum, 156/Silence and Cell. Despite their decade together as a band, this is the first time they’ve ever toured to support a full length album.
“We’ve never got to actually release a record and go on tour because our last record we released during COVID,” Lilly said. “It’s cool to just see people react to it and come up to the merch table and be like, ‘Hey, I’ve been listening to this five times straight and it’s amazing! Can’t believe you guys keep leveling up.’ It’s really cool to see kids react to it kinda live in person instead of just being on the Internet talking about it or whatever.”
If Chamber continues with the path they’re currently forging, there will be many more release tours over the years. As far as the present, Lilly hopes people take the time to listen to A Love to Kill For as a whole album, and appreciates it for what it is.
“I hope that they think [the album’s] crazy, and kinda scary and in your face. A little dangerous. I hope they think it’s heavy as fuck, because that’s what we wanted to do. I hope they just kinda take the time to read the lyrics and hope they can relate to some of the stuff on there.
A Love to Kill For is available now via Pure Noise Records. Order the album – HERE
Chamber close out the ‘Fortune Favors the Cold’ Tour with Orthodox, Momentum and 156/Silence this week before gearing out to begin the ‘Never Say Die’ Tour across the EU/UK with Nasty, King810 and ten56.
Check the current list of dates and cities – HERE