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Chaos Magic – Emerge Award winner

Chaos Magic
Emerge
by Thomas Kumke at 04 July 2022, 6:07 AM

CHAOS MAGIC were formed in 2015 as a Frontier Records project with Chilean vocalist Caterina Nix and Timo Tolkki (RING OF FIRE, ex-AVALON among others). They are a symphonic Metal band, have released one EP and “Emerge” is the third full-length album. It was mixed and mastered by Erick Martinez at Orange Studio and recorded by Nasson at Riff Studio, both in Santiago, Chile. The album has a length of about 49 minutes and it was released by Italian label Frontiers Records, which have many Heavy and Power Metal bands among their roster.

CHAOS MAGIC has initially been starting as a Chilean/Finnish project, but in fact the Finnish parts only lasted for the self-titled debut album in 2015. While Caterina Nix has ever been busy with other projects, it took a while to rejuvenate CHAOS MAGIC and release the second album “Furyborn” with a complete new, Chilean line-up in 2019. Key in the new line-up is Nasson who also took over the songwriting duties. Despite Caterina Nix remained busy with several guest appearances (for example AVALON, VIVALDI METAL PROJECT), CHAOS MAGIC never stopped writing music and the result is “Emerge”.

The album starts with the title song and it starts with powerful guitar riffing at mid-tempo. The orchestral arrangements contribute a bit more in the background. The melodies are dark, but have some catchiness especially during the chorus sections. The vocals cover a broad range from deeper Rock oriented tones to higher soprano notes. “Emerge” includes a very contributing lead guitar solo. The song is a good way to open an album. The powerful riffing continues with “Beneath Your Skin”. The song textures, guitar riffing, rhythm, and vocals remind a lot on EVANESCENCE. The song is pretty heavy with almost some melancholy in the melodies. The symphonic parts are mostly in the background. It is no surprise that “Beneath Your Skin” is the official video release with the YouTube link given below.

The Impossible” has a slow and measured tempo. Driven by the bass and the guitars, the symphonic elements with the strings have a more dominant part to play. There are a few electronic samples included and as the track goes on, the more bombastic it becomes including a background choir. Highlight of “The Impossible” is the extended lead guitar solo. “Garden Of Winter” is a ballad-esque song. While the verse parts are carried by the strings, the chorus parts are driven by the guitars and bass. The highlight of the song are the vocals and Caterina Nix has prominent support with the iconic Elina Siirala (ANGEL NATION, LEAVES’ EYES), and both have an amazing performance. The list of guest appearances also includes Italian keyboarder Mistheria (VIVALDI METAL PROJECT), who was the most natural choice, since both vocalists have worked together with him in the past.

Hearts Gone Dark” has a bombastic orchestral start, before it transitions into a mid-tempo track with sharp guitar riffing, cool bass lines, and vocals which are more towards the Rock oriented side. The middle part of the track contains some very heavy riffing and even a bit of double-bass drumming. “Hearts Gone Dark” is arguably one of the heaviest songs on the album. “Beyond The Silence” starts with oriental vibes in the melodies, which is the central melodic theme of the song. It is a mid-tempo track with once again EVANESCENCE inspirations at least during the verse parts. The lead guitar solo is again highlight of the track. “Days Of Lions” starts epic with the orchestral arrangements, which are dominant during large parts of the song. The tempo is again slow and measured, with some heavy riffing particularly during the middle part of the song. The lead guitar solo is very direct and aggressive as opposed to the mostly very playful solos on the album.

In The Depth Of Night” is an easy-to-listen song with catchy melodies in particular during the chorus parts. The song has definitely a few AMARANTHE vibes. “Victim Of Our Heaven” starts with an acoustic guitar and the vocals which is accompanied by the strings. It is the second song with attributes of a ballad and Nasson contributes as a second vocalist. Both vocalists equally drive the song forward, even though the female vocals take center stage especially during the chorus parts. As with “Garden Of Winter”, the slower songs work towards the strengths of Caterina Nix and her ability to bring emotions to the audience. That makes “Victim Of Our Heaven” to one of the album highlights. With “When If Not Today” and “What’s Your Fuel”, the album closes heavy at mid-tempo. In particular “What’s Your Fuel” includes some powerful riffs and a few crunching bass lines. The lead guitar solo can also keep up in terms of heaviness and Caterina Nix contributes with an energetic performance. A very good way to finish an album.

CHAOS MAGIC deliver a very good symphonic/modern Metal album. “Emerge” is very dynamic, fresh, modern, and easy-to-listen to. It has all the ingredients needed for a good album in this genre: powerful guitar riffs, excellent lead guitars, orchestral arrangements that fit into the framework of the songs without being dominant, catchiness in the melodies, and a vocalist who keeps it all well together. Caterina Nix is that overarching element of CHAOS MAGIC and the songs are written towards her strengths as a singer. The songwriting is mature and the album is well produced. CHAOS MAGIC set the bar high and “Emerge” is one of those albums that should be part of the collection of symphonic and modern Metal fans.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Emerge
2. Beneath Your Skin
3. The Impossible
4. Garden Of Winter (ft. Elina Siirala)
5. Hearts Gone Dark
6. Beyond The Silence
7. Days Of Lions
8. In The Depth Of Night
9. Victim Of Our Heaven
10. When If Not Today
11. What’s Your Fuel
Lineup:
Caterina Nix – Vocals
Nasson – Guitars, Bass, Vocals
Mario Torres ­ Guitars
Carlos Hernandez – Drums
Franco Lama – Programming
Record Label: Frontiers Music
     


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