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Chaos Magic - "Chaos Magic" (CD)

Chaos Magic - "Chaos Magic" CD cover image

"Chaos Magic" track listing:

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

Reviewed by on December 1, 2015

"Sliding easily into the genre slot along the likes of Revamp, Delain, Within Temptation, and so on, Chaos Magic offers more of what fans love, but also throws in enough differences to stand out."

Looks like its time for another contender in the symphonic, female-fronted metal category to emerge and take a few swings while aiming to reach the top. This latest one is a team composed of melodic metal stalwart Timo Tolkki, vocalist Caterina Nix (who has a fantastic range that well complements the music), and drummer Jami Huovinen. Sliding easily into the genre slot along the likes of Revamp, Delain, Within Temptation, and so on, Chaos Magic offers more of what fans love, but also throws in enough differences to stand out.

First off, the flow of this self-titled album deserves a serious mention. Frequently you'd be hard pressed to even realize one song has ended and another has begun because the tracks work so well next to each other. Much of “Chaos Magic” feels like one continuous musical adventure rather than a collection of varying songs. Further distinguishing itself from the pack, the symphonic elements in the background often have an '80s movie score feel, going a different direction than the typical band that melds keyboards with metal.

For those who want a suitably epic vibe, those all-encompassing choirs show up in tracks like “From The Stars,” “Passionflow,” and “Dead Memories.” As the album nears its end the cool down track “Please Don't Tell Me” goes in a more folk music direction with wind instruments and crashing waves before the metal has a triumphant reemergence about three quarters of the way through. “The Point Of No Return” then ends the album as a fun, energetic track centered on guitar acrobatics.

As a debut full-length, “Chaos Magic” clearly sets this trio in a strong position for fans of the symphonic metal genre. There's echoes of familiarity in there - “A Little Too Late” has a Within Temptation feel and “Passionflow,” meanwhile, is more on the Sirenia side – but on the whole Chaos Magic has its own vibe and offers an interesting take on the style that's worth repeated listens.

Highs: The familiarity of female fronted symphonic metal with enough of a unique sound to stand out.

Lows: The metal aspects are present, but more limited than what you might want.

Bottom line: Timo Tolkki offers up the melodic metal while Caterina Nix takes it to the next level with her amazing vocals.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)