Chaos Over Cosmos ‘The Unknown Voyage’ (Reissue)
Album Review By Adam McCann
Independent Release/Progressive Power Metal
The internet is a marvellous invention. Yes, of course it has its serious downsides, but it has brought us all closer together and that is what has happened with international progressive power metal band Chaos Over Cosmos. Formed by Polish guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Rafał Bowman and Spanish vocalist Javier Calderon, the duo have overcome what would have been an almost impossible task 20 years ago, replaced by what is now just at the click of a button to deliver a stunning debut album last year. Fast-forward one year and Chaos Over Cosmos have lost none their momentum, releasing their self-titled first EP with new vocalist Joshua Ratcliff from Australia. However, the band have also decided to revisit and reissue the album where it all started, ‘The Unknown Voyage’; albeit with a slightly different track listing, this reissue drops the songs ‘A Hidden Path’ and ‘They Will Fall’ in favour of ‘Neon Nights’ and ‘Dance of the Silver Blade’.
For those who have not had the pleasure of hearing ‘The Unknown Voyage’, what they will find is an album of humble progressive power metal, one that has no need to overtly show off its intricate time-signature changes or even have a production which appeals the elitist snobbery of djent. Instead, what can be found here is a primordial progressive power metal sound, one that lurks in the genre’s formative years, taking in huge amounts of classic heavy metal as well as the soaring chorus’ of power metal. This can be seen during the albums opening behemoth, ‘Armour of the Stars’, a track based upon the cult-Japanese role-playing game ‘Xenogears’ found on the Playstation 1 and 2. This track begins with all the ethereal musings of Pink Floyd before powerfully leaping out of the starting gate with the gallop of classic Iron Maiden, Fates Warning and even a touch of Helloween, before having all the appeal of Redemption Arch/Matheos and Evergrey delivered through the lyrical remit that would hold the interest of any fan of both fantasy and science fiction. Furthermore, these elements are explored further with the Symphony X riffing to the ‘Blade-Runner’ theme of ‘Neon Nights’, whilst ‘Dance of the Silver Blade’ delves into the fantasy realm of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski and his ‘Witcher’ series which formed the hit video game. Yet, what Chaos Over Cosmos do so wonderfully during ‘Dance of the Silver Blade’ is drop into an almost ‘Songs from the Wood’ style progressive rock medieval madrigal of Jethro Tull before returning with the full fury of progressive power metal and it is twists like this which make ‘The Unknown Voyage’ so appealing. Yet, it is not here where the progressive rock influences stop, ‘The Compass’ contains a beautiful guitar melody coupled with a sombre vocal delivery that would make Marillion blush with comparison. However, the one thing that lets this album down is that the drums are ever so slightly too far back in the mix, but this ultimate pedantism on an album which is otherwise excellent.
‘The Unknown Voyage’ is quiet aptly named, this relatively unknown band are indeed sailing their own voyage of discovery and they are sailing through the rough seas of obscurity. Yet, this album is very enjoyable, it can be a little long winded at times, but who cares? Chaos Over Cosmos have done a great job with these tracks and for fans of this genre, it definitely deserves to be heard.
Rating : 76/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann