Chiodos - Bone Palace Ballet (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Bone Palace Ballet (2007)

Equal Vision

One would think that the opera of nü-emo was already delivered in 2006 by My Chemical Romance with The Black Parade. Alas, here are Chiodos with Bone Palace Ballet, their Bukowski-referencing sophomore full-length that mostly eschews their former, bizarre nü-screamo tendencies in favor of...well, an entirely more self-indulgent, overreaching version of said tendencies.

"Is It Progression If a Cannibal Uses a Fork?" reveals most of Chiodos' intentions, with Craig Owens' signature high-pitched singing, some classically integrated piano, riffs reeking of Coheedian guitar wankery (a comparison you're liable to agree with for a healthy portion of Ballet), a slowed down shouted part that blatantly bites the same from songs like Thursday's "Paris in Flames" and "Asleep in the Chapel," and generally little to latch onto besides the rare interesting vocal melody. Next up, "Lexington. (Joey Pea-Pot with a Monkey Face)" features finger snaps, a stomping horn section, and more pointless prog-rock showsmanship on the axe. Here and elsewhere, they still offer the occasional dog-barking scream, which sounds more out of place than ever. "Life Is a Perception of Your Own Reality" momentarily sounds like a cheesy De Beers commercial thanks to the violins that open it.

This all might sound cool on paper (to someone), but rarely is it actually likeable. Some bands manage to capture their ambitions into enjoyable slabs of musical craft, but not Chiodos. Every little trick that continuously pops up on Bone Palace Ballet sounds less impressive by the second and simply more annoying. It's all very's just not very good.

"A Letter from Janelle" works somewhat, as the band strip it of needless instrumentation, instead letting it flow as an atmospheric nü-post-hardcore song in the vein of their labelmates, Circa Survive, with a decent chorus to boot. Even here though, they manage to sound pretty derivative.

Bone Palace Ballet seems interesting at first for all that's going on, and the epic stratospheres Chiodos appear to consistently shoot for. But after repeated listens, it's revealed that the depth thought to exist here is merely ankle-high.

Is It Progression If a Cannibal Uses a Fork?

Lexington. (Joey Pea-Pot with a Monkey Face)
The Undertaker's Thirst for Revenge Is Unquenchable (The Final Battle)