Chaos Divine

Colliding Skies

Written by: HES on 09/04/2015 16:10:45

The Aussies of Chaos Divine have rounded a new corner with the release "Colliding Skies", sliding away from the metal moniker and closer to progressive rock or what they themselves have christened "progressive metal rock" - a pretty fitting description for a release that dabbles slightly in metal and progressive, but overall is best described as "rock" with both the broader appeal linked to it, but also some degree of insignificance. That being said, the album as a whole is not to be completely overlooked as it actually does, in its most interesting moments, experiment with elements like a saxophone on the closer "With Nothing We Depart".

Where Chaos Divine set themselves apart from the traditionally toothless pack of "just rock"-bands is by consistent work on the tone of the melodic patchwork that can most precisely be summed up by the word "uplifting". I am reminded of other hard rockers with this particular tone, like for instance Christian rockers Switchfoot and tracks like "I Dare You To Move" or "Meant To Live". This very defining sound is utilized brilliantly on the grungy track "Badge of Honour" that beautifully balances the edge of the sword of majors and minors leading to the bombastic chorus, blasting imaginary clouds from the sky.

That being said, the album does also suffer from some very predictable flaws. For one, lead vocalist David Anderson's voice is hollowed out throughout the entirety of the album with nu-metal sounding effect, leaving it less impactful than in its true form. The vocals are then drowned by the density of the soundscape, all instruments at the same time fighting for attention, but rarely getting any - apart from the guitar that sometimes is allowed to soar above the muddiness in proggy patterns.

Being born out of a metal background the band leaves very few traces of this ancestry on "Colliding Skies", as most growls are hidden weirdly, but probably intentionally low in the mixing of tracks like "Symbiotic" - only really stealing any spotlight in the end of the track "Before The Dawn". There's something unchartered about this mixing that I actually like - as a thought-experiment. But in reality the now uninhabited space that used to hold the brutality of a growl is left desolate. Again leaving the soundscape begging for contrast of any kind. Overall "Colliding Skies" will probably find its audience because it in many ways serves enough of a known thing to also be forgiven the places it diverts from the dogmas. However, as someone that actually appreciated the diversions, "Colliding Skies" ends up in between the musical chairs "adventure" and "same-old" on the spot on the floor called "no cigar".


Download: Badge of Honour, With Nothing We Depart
For The Fans Of: Switchfoot, Riverside, Vanden Plas

Release date 06.03.2015
Firestarter Music

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