Focus On The Center is the first release from Chrysalis in seven years and is a rather marvellous blend of a bit of everything – from alternative metal, to post-hardcore and even a little bit of electronica thrown in for good measure. It’s all rather experimental, but works well.
The first thing that strikes you about this release is the clean vocals, which admittedly take a bit of getting used to. They sound a little strange; weak and thin, and almost sound like they’re straying from the supposed melody, which makes them a little difficult to listen to at times, but the harsh vocals are absolutely phenomenal with a lot of meat behind them, so they help in driving the release forwards and once you’ve listened to a few songs, you do get used to both vocal styles.
Aside from that, Focus On The Center is a good EP and the songs themselves are well-constructed and put together. Chrysalis know how to write a catchy song and Saturn Waits is one such track, featuring some excellent guitar lines and ideas throughout, whether it’s as a lead or background instrument. Another highlight is Ms. Me, a largely heavier track that’s divided up by softer sections and it really pays off because it makes the track flow really well as a result.
Although it does feel a little let down by the vocals in parts, Focus On The Center is a great release and an all-round enjoyable listen.