With Chaos Divine taking influence from both the extreme and ambient end of the progressive metal scale, the Western Australian quintet’s sophomore release The Human Connection is a staggeringly large and powerful album.
Although overzealous members of the press have been quick to compare the five-piece to fellow Perth based act Karnivool; outside of the two group’s obvious progressive leanings, Chaos Divine’s usage of extreme vocals makes them a much heavier and metal influenced entity.
Opening tune “One Door” is fantastic number, and pretty much sums up the band’s sound, with delicately restrained verses giving way to crushing choruses and progressive bridges, while “At the Ringing of the Siren” uses the same formula to achieve the same winning result. Vocalist David Anderton is certainly the star of the record, with his clean vocal work just as powerful and essential as his death metal bellows and roars. The furious “Invert Evolution” shows off the heavier side of the band, but they never get too brutal or blatantly death metal, with the songs usage of clean singing and vocal melodies just as important as the double kick drum work and the dissonant guitar riffs.
At an hour long, The Human Connection is a lengthy album, especially with the growing modern trend in metal bands to release half an hour long records, but it’s a huge compliment to the band that the sixty minutes fly by before you notice it. Epic closing number “No Road Home (Solastalgia)” is a perfect way to wrap up the release, with the spacious keyboard and clean guitar intro slowly unravelling to reveal a full on prog attack, with odd-timed riffs and off the wall drum rhythms. A heavy bridge section emerges from the fray, before the song and album closes with an Opeth-styled guitar solo section, and then an ambient wall of white noise.
While they’ll (probably) never debut at number on the American Billboard charts, Chaos Divine deserve see a huge step up in the national and global progressive music scene on the back of The Human Connection. Combining both soaring vocals and lush soundscapes with deafening drum work and crushing guitars, the group’s second full length is a gem of an album, and will hopefully get the group into the higher echelons of the prog metal hierarchy, on both an Australian and international scale.
1. One Door
2. At the Ringing of the Siren
3. The Beaten Path
4. Chasing Shadows
5. Beautiful Abyss
7. Invert Evolution
8. Astral Plane
9. No Road Home (Solastalgia)