Chaos Divine - Colliding Skies review

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Band: Chaos Divine
Album: Colliding Skies
Release date: March 2015

01. Landmines
02. Badge Of Honour
03. Painted With Grey
04. Soldiers
05. Symbiotic
06. Tides
07. Before The Dawn
08. The Shepherd
09. Mara
10. With Nothing We Depart

The most absorbing aspect of Colliding Skies is that it's a densely textured record in view of its smooth and approachable sound. In instrumentation, every aspect sets a well defined and accessible trajectory in progressive metal. It is a melodic vehicle for expressive vocal arrangements which project an emphasis that readily uplift the listening experience. Above all else, Australia's Chaos Divine surely aim for consistency in this latest effort.

That it is a streamlined style for progressive metal belies its carefully constructed foundation, as the instruments are frequently busy in their constant motion and activity for the album's duration. Commendably, bass work is not only audible at times, but thoroughly present throughout and as such constantly aid the course driven by the duo of guitars. With this basis the tracks often possess a potent reverb as humming melodic lines burst from a rhythm section that sets about its task at a resolved, though not undeviating, pace. This is an ideal condition in which to deliver clean vocals that are, consequently, nothing short of moving as they grace and benefit the ongoing flow in instrumentation.

Album wide, each song implements a similar build-up to support these vocal harmonies which are the record's most obvious and emphasised feature. Occurring at the album's centre is "Tides," within which a more tranquil ambience is counterpoised against the formative guitar lines representative of the album as a whole. The vocal work here immediately jumps to a high register in a somewhat jarring instance, but one which matches the punch of instrumentation which subsequently resounds over the softer intro.

In terms of style, what was previously a blend of melodic death metal and progressive metal on the band's earlier records has here been congealed into a highly melodic form of the latter, the song structures bearing a subtle complexity in instrumental arrangement despite said melodicism being the focus. The relatively straightforward direction that each and every track takes is a limiting factor in terms of the record's originality, as there are few adornments or distinctive components that variegate the album context, or set it apart significantly from contemporary progressive metal at large. The use of saxophone in the closer "With Nothing We Depart," strangely enough considering its title, offers the most significant difference within the record, the style implemented therein taking on a Leprous-like resemblance.

Ultimately, this a record tightly arranged and rewarding on repeated listens, given both its excellent production and consistent melodic gratification. It's a record that stands out not for its originality of style, but for its consistency of substance in accessibility.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 9


Written on 28.03.2015 by R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 136 users
28.03.2015 - 09:19
Wandering Midget
Nice review, once again It's melodic, but I'm hesitant on saying highly melodic (think Amorphis here). As for originality, I'd say there are tracks where you can almost immediately tell it's them if you've heard their previous album, especially "Painted With Grey" and "Before The Dawn". As a whole they took a more alternative direction in comparison.

Personally I would rate this about half a point higher, another solid album from them.
28.03.2015 - 13:59
Ag Fox
Angel No More
Looking forward to hearing this (=
loves 小巫
28.03.2015 - 19:52
Growls on their albums actually make me cringe. They are playing prefectly good and varied anough prog and ruin it with mediocre harsh vocals...

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