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Calgary, Alberta, Canada | SELF

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | SELF
Band Alternative Rock


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"Review: Chakobsa - Energy Dispersal"

Most people will argue that music is an experience. Our favourite songs are those that mean something to us, and we can usually argue that listening to our favourite albums involves more than just listening. Energy Dispersal, the second full-length album from Calgary’s Chakobsa, is entirely different than anything else out there right now, and with powerful tracks and an unforgettable sound the album will completely blow you away.

Released in March 2012, Energy Dispersal is one of the coolest albums to come out this year. It doesn’t fit into any particular category or traditional genre, and this might be what makes it such a unique and meaningful experience. It’s a weird combination of sounds: somehow both heavy and mellow, it takes on dark and moody elements while also showing off some singable melodies and quicker bass lines. Chakobsa experiments with different sounds and devices, bringing forward a grungy alt-doom-blues-rock sound that is not quite like anyone else, yet still familiar and mainstream. Think of a strange combination of Tool, Alice in Chains, Muddy Waters, The Doors and Faith No More. This isn’t easy to do, but Chakobsa pulls it off, and does so very well.

There are some obvious song-writing and musical talents on this album. The most obvious talent lies in their ability to harmonize vocally. Take “A Constant With Variable Values”, for example: the vocal harmonies here take an incredible ear and lot of skill, and it really is amazing they’re able to keep this up while maintaining strong instrumental abilities and actual intelligent lyrics. Most of the tracks have similar features: slower tempos, strong harmonies, heavy bass and emphasis on minor key signatures, a combination that leads to an emotional connection and the comparison to bands like Tool (“To The Visage”).

Chakobsa was born in the late ‘90s and after some mixing and growing they’re stronger than ever. They have incredible balance and chemistry and are definitely a band to check out. Check out the band’s website and Facebook for more information, preview and buy Energy Dispersal on iTunes or CD Baby, and definitely get out to a live show! And if you’re unsure, the band does give clear instructions on pronouncing their name: “cha-KOB-sa. The ‘O’ is like ‘hole’ – not ‘hot’”. Get used to saying it; Energy Dispersal is the first step in Chakobsa’s rise to the top, and with uniqueness on their side and talent all around them, they’re out to create an unforgettable experience. - Indie403

"Chakobsa: Acoustic Guitars Speak Magnetic Language"

By Allison Drinnan

Local band Chakobsa has created a shroud of mystery surrounding their artistic offerings to Calgary’s music scene. With so many acts trying to find a certain scene to which they can connect, Chakobsa wants to leave you pondering what you have just heard when you listen to their music. One needs only to visit the band’s various websites or pages to view the scope of classifications where fans, and the guys themselves, have placed their music. Ranging from molten mellow to realistic doom jazz, Chakobsa is something that must be experienced and realized on a personal level. So how does the band respond to the mystification of their musical styling?

“We’re confused, too,” lead vocalist Sean Raven laughs as his bandmates nod in agreement. “There’s been lots of titles thrown around, like acoustic doom blues. I like heavy mellow, that’s a good one, too. Pretty much whoever comes up with a good one I just try to post it on whatever sites I have. So there are a whole bunch of different ones but I don’t know if any of them are correct.”

There is a telling connection between the obscurity of Chakobsa’s musical genre and the choice of name for the band. In this case, you really cannot judge this band by their title, and Raven is completely content with that.

“It comes from a book, Dune, by Frank Herbert,” he says as he describes the name choice. “There are these people in the book that live in the desert and they’re the only free people. The name of their language is Chakobsa and it means ‘the magnetic language.’ When I heard magnetic language I just thought it was the coolest thing ever. I just thought it was the kind of name that no one would be able to tell what you’re about to hear. Some bands, you hear the name and you’re like, ‘That’s fucking metal,’ or obviously something else, and I just wanted to be kind of mysterious.”

Chakobsa started as a small side project for Raven, and grew out of pain and struggles with not being able to physically continue with his passion for playing metal. From that hurt came harmony, as the small side project became the musical focus for Raven and his fellow musicians.

“I played in a bunch of different metal bands and I played guitar and bass and stuff like that. I just kinda started doing some acoustic stuff on the side and wanted to do a little bit quieter stuff,” explains Raven. “I was kind of writing this stuff on the side. It was just my own little project and I started having problems with my arms — I had carpal tunnel in my arms — and I stopped being able to play metal. Then I had all of these songs, all of these acoustic songs and a few people volunteered up to be in my band, so I just sing now.”

Having released a full-length CD in 2008 with a different drummer and lead guitar player in the band, Chakobsa is releasing an EP this month with more of a focus on Raven’s own personal stories. The EP is just a small teaser for fans, as the boys plan to release a follow-up full length in this upcoming year.

“We have seven songs of the ten songs basically learned and we just gotta finish up a couple still,” explains Raven. “Each song kind of has its own concept. The reality is that most of the concepts of my songs, what they come down to a lot of times is that they sound really judgmental, but they’re always directed at me. I guess it’s like me writing down the things I’ve learned and the mistakes I won’t make again. It is all written down in song. I sing them over and over and I should hopefully learn the lessons in there, you know? At least for myself.” - BeatRoute


Chakobsa - Chakobsa (2008 Independent)
Chakobsa - The Entity EP (2010 Independent)
Chakobsa - Energy Dispersal (2012 Independent)



Bearing heavy riffs, intricate rhythms, and soaring harmonies, Chakobsa lies somewhere in between the Melvins and the unplugged version of Alice in Chains. Equal parts stoner doom rock and delicate, melodic indie-flavored hooks blend to create a truly unique sound in the Canadian music landscape. Quite simply, there is nothing else like Chakobsa in music today.

Formed in 2006 by vocalist and songwriter, Sean Raven, Chakobsa is a soapbox for Raven’s musings on life, religion, Humanity and the world in which we all live. A veteran of Calgary’s metal scene, Raven assembled a collection of like-minded musicians eager to help him take his vision to the stage. Armed with sounds heavy enough to please even the most diehard metaler, yet still beautifully melodic, vulnerable and accessible, Chakobsa can take you from a gentle breeze to a Gale-force storm from verse to chorus.

Chakobsa’s 2012 release, ‘Energy Dispersal’, captures the essence of the band perfectly, and cements them as perhaps the heaviest acoustic outfit in the Great White North. Sway along to the music, and let it take you where it will…