Chastity finds solace from isolation in sludgy guitar riffs.
Music is a vital and powerful form of therapy for those going through struggles of any kind. It’s an incredibly therapeutic process to create art as a means to channel overwhelmingly dark and relenting emotions. Whitby, Ontario’s own Chastity aim to deliver a rallying call for those on the fringes of their communities to come together through the unifying power of sludgy, distorted guitar riffs. The result is Death Lust, a sonic diary of anxiety, depression, and severe isolation; most importantly, it’s a record about finding sense, purpose, and identity.
Chastity builds its sound on equal parts alternative rock and hardcore punk. There’s hints of Helmet and Deftones in the crunching guitars on “Children” and “Scary” (a reworking from their 2015 TAPE release) and a pulverizing hardcore stomp to “Choke”. Totally unexpected and out of character (yet surprisingly effective) are the beautiful strings on opener “Come” which accompany a sincere and earnest reflection on getting older and working to maintain relationships. A line like “Sadness is the danger of being young, dreaming of days still to come” suggests that the depth of Chastity’s music lies in frontman Brandon Williams’s ability to write songs that balance his chaotic and softer sides in equal measure.
As its title hints, much of Death Lust deals in death: suicide, murder, all of it. “Anoxia” pulls no punches when Williams screams “Hang me from the tallest tree in Whitby”. “Chains” showcases the epicentre of this grim and sludgy catharsis — post-punk and rock structures are swapped out in favour of a brutal, pummeling mix of metalcore and noise rock; the verses are downright creepy as the bass guitar carries the melody. The big payoff, though, comes as the drum buildup reaches its climax and culminates in a finale well worth waiting for.
Chastity captures the tension and struggles of mental health and the sheer will and determination needed to rise above it all and find a sense of purpose in life. A line from “Innocence” sums the whole of Death Lust up succinctly: “I’m stronger than I look and I’m much more than what you took”. With sheer resilience in the face of fear and uncertainty, Chastity transforms a death lust into a lust for life.