Album Reviews
Band: Chaos Magic

Title: Chaos Magic

Label: Frontiers Records

 

The Wikipedia description of Chaos Magic is defined by Wikipedia as .. "A Post-modern magical tradition which emphasizes the pragmatic use of belief systems and the creation of new and unorthodox methods".

That pretty well sums up what is the latest creation from former Stratovarius guitarist and producer Timo Tolkki, who along with the wonderful vocals of Caterina Nix of Chilean metallers Aghonya, have produces a truly magical album.

Those familiar with Tolkki’s involvement in the Allen / Lande and Avalon albums know the man has no qualms in expanding the Symphonic and Power Metal genres, with his sometimes experimental and more progressive and heavy guitar style.

This album has all the makings of another Tolkki classic, with Nix providing a wide range of vocals and Tolkki providing all the instruments, except the drums which are handled by Jami Huovinen.

Things get underway with the aptly entitled 'I’m Alive'.  We are soon privy to Nix’s majestic vocals and some soaring guitar work from the Finn on this massive slab of melodic symphonia.  The gothic tones of ‘Dangerous Games’ are next again, a smouldering vocal dominates this one, then it's back to the meat and bones Symphonic Rock stylings with ‘One Drop Of Blood’, before a real Tolkki touch as he reaches into an album electro metal feel 'Seraphim'.  There is a touch of the industrial about this one that makes it stand out from the pack.

It back to the more traditional Gothic Symphonic Metal cross over for the massive 'From The Stars’, before bringing a more majestic Melodic Metal tones for ‘A Little Too Late’.

The album ebbs and flows between styles and genres as a listener you're always on the edge not knowing what’s coming next and what is next is a touch of Middle Eastern majesty in the haunting ‘Passionflow’.  You can almost see the Kasbah in the distance on this one.

‘Dead Memories’ is a haunting power - ballad that almost has a Kate Bush feel about it, that is if Kate Bush did Symphonic Metal. things get mixed up a Tolkki brings a subtle folk pipe element into all out ballad ‘Please Don’t Tell Me’ this is Nix at her vocal best as far as I’m concerned.

It's pedal to the Metal with the driven guitars of ‘Right Now’, before the album closes with another strong guitar driven slab of Melodic Power Metal in 'The Point of No Return', which wraps up a great album with the Finn once again casting a spell over the world of Symphonic Metal. 

Review by: Barry McMinn

 

Tracklisting:

1.  I'm Alive
2.  Dangerous Game
3.  One Drop Of Blood 
4.  Seraphim
5.  From The Stars
6.  A Little Too Late
7.  Passionflow
8.  Dead Memories
9.  Please Don't Tell Me
10. Right Now 
11. The Point Of No Return 

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