Signing with Megaforce indicates a lot of where Living Colour are at on 2009's The Chair in the Doorway, their first album since their 2004 comeback Collideøscope. Megaforce is known as a metal label and appropriately, Living Colour plays to this audience, getting so heavy they're often dreary, riffs fighting to be heard out of the grinding psychedelic sludge. No matter the tempo, The Chair in the Doorway remains mired in this murk, crushing the sprightly blues of "Bless Those (Little Annie's Prayer) under a chorus of thick, leaden guitar and bass, the same sounds that flatten any moment of subtly that tries to rear its head here. There is no denying that Living Colour wields some mighty muscle -- Will Calhoun and Doug Wimbish provide a locomotive force which Vernon Reid rides vigorously, adding dashes of color when he tears off solos -- but the limited palette and relentless attack wind up a little wearying, especially when married to brickwalled masters.
The Chair in the Doorway Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine