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Chrome Division: Booze, Broads and Beelzebub
Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Chrome Division is the side project of Shagrath (Stian Thoresen) of the melodic death metal band, Dimmu Borgir. Certainly, it is not uncommon for an artist to explore genres beyond their primary or current escapades. A current example of this is Metal Church guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof's Presto Ballet which reflects his love for 70's progressive rock. With Chrome Division you have inspired melodic hard rock, often bordering on metal, akin to Motorhead and others. Actually, Chrome Division is a better Motorhead (by comparison) simply because they are rousing and raw, vibrant and intense. Chrome Division can be, at the same time, positively derivative (a good thing) and amazingly refreshing. 'Booze, Broads and Beelzebub' is that good.

'Booze, Broads and Beelzebub' is about, well, booze, broads and beelzebub. And you may want to add riding motorcycles, particularly a Harley-Davidson, being rowdy and raising Hell, and just having a whole lot of unregenerate fun. This is the band, music, and lifestyle your parents and preacher warned you about. This is stated clearly in the intro 'The Second Coming.' From here, things move quickly with energetic rock and roll on the title track, 'Wine Of Sin' and 'Raven Black Cadillac. The last is one song that can easily border on rowdy melodic metal; it's lots of fun. Songs like 'Let's Hear It' and 'Hate This Town' have heavy riffs surrounded by tons of melody and testosterone with great guitar solos. The true wonders on this work tip the hat to good old Texas boogie rock and roll. First, on 'The Boys From The East' Chrome Division easily mimics (or steals) all the best from a ZZ Top number combining snakeskin boot swagger with a fast and fierce hard rock quasi metal motif. Second, speaking of ZZ Top, Chrome Division covers 'Sharp Dressed Man' in wholly incredible and pleasing fashion: harder, heavier and faster, it is totally satisfying! There are some slightly mediocre moments on this work including 'Life Of A Fighter,' 'The Devil Walks Proud,' and 'Raise Your Flag.' Generally, they're good songs, but I still felt that something was missing.

Overall, 'Booze, Broads and Beelzebub' is a strong, satisfying and significant accomplishment by Chrome Division. I wanted to listen to it over and again simply because it rocked. Shagrath should give up his day job with Dimmu Borgir and pursue Chrome Division with enthusiasm. I wonder what else he has up his tattooed sleeve. Great stuff and highly recommended!

In Short

Chrome Division is the side project of Dimmu Borgir's multi-instrumentalist, Shagrath. It should not be: this is entirely pleasing melodic hard rock with metal overtones. Comparisons to Motorhead are moot; Chrome Division is better. This exciting music that I wanted to listen to over and over!

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