CD, Audiotrauma, 2011
The self-proclaimed electro-punk-noize-terrorists Chrysalide have returned with their second full-length album, “Don’t Be Scared, It’s About Life” – and what a release this album is! Though many people will make obvious Skinny Puppy comparisons (a great deal of this being how eerily close the vocals seem on some songs), this album is no mere clone.
The whole of “Don’t Be Scared, It’s About Life” is jarring, intense and powerful and continually keeps you on edge. It provides aggressive, angry, punky electronics throughout, but also provides the listener with enough variety and ‘softer’ moments so that your ears are not completely bled out by the time you’re done listening to the album. Each successive listen shows a new element or sound I didn’t pick up previously, like the subtle orchestral sounds in “They Won’t Get Us”, the slightly Asian influences in the track “Cybernetic Babies”, or the dubstep elements found in “I Do Not Divert Eyes”. Also, soft piano melodies on some songs provide a sharp contrast to overwhelming aggression and anger. There are few introspective songs dispersed throughout to give your ears some rest, such as “Lizzie and the Charming Prince” and “Lovetape”. No matter what the song, though, there is always an element of madness, fear and a menacing aura in each track – sometimes it’s just below the surface, other times it hits you right in the face.
My only complaint with the release is that it is hard to understand the lyrics a good part of the time (which I know is true of a number of releases in this genre), but since the rest of the album is so amazing it bothers me here more than it normally would. Maybe the vocals are meant to be more as an instrument, but knowing the band and their methods, I would say the lyrics are an important part of their work; unfortunately the words just don’t come across very well at times.
That being said, “Don’t Be Scared, It’s About Life” could easily be the soundtrack to someone’s nightmares or in the day of an insane asylum. I often envision that I’m just about to lose my mind into a psychotic episode at any moment while listening to it. And that’s not such a bad thing when experiencing an album, in my opinion. An excellent and recommended release.
— Kevin Congdon