As metalcore explodes the twin progenitors of what became said genre have returned in 2010 to show these upstarts the true meaning of intensity. In July Norma Jean slammed the startlingly powerful ‘Meridional’ into the world’s collective face – they were, of course, original co-conspirators of The Chariot vocalist Josh Scogin – and now the Georgian masters are back with one of the most brutal albums of the year. ‘Long Live’ is a relentless battery of an album, an ode to inspiration itself that details people who have helped the band (tracks titled ‘Robert Rios’ or ‘Evan Perks’, for example) or the concepts that drive them (‘The Heavens’, ‘The Audience’). And whether chopping jaunty promotional jingles into the toothgrind hardcore (‘Calvin Makenzie’) or hammering slab-like riffs over squealing atonal guitars The Chariot have captured the severity of their shows – ‘Long Live’ was recorded live with a strict three-takes limit – and turned it into an essential document of progressive hardcore. What’s most exciting, though, is that with fl ourishes like ‘David De La Hoz’’s unnerving piano interlude, the regal trumpet on ‘The King’ or the unseen choir that elevates ‘The City’ into an inspiring anthem, The Chariot have proved, yet again, that they’re one of the best bands in the world.