Album Review: Chaos Magic- Emerge

Emerge is the third release from Chilean symphonic metal band Chaos Magic. The title track opens the album with eerie strings before the guitars kick in to high gear. Caterina Nix’s vocals emerge from the heavy wall of drums and guitars. There are minor symphonic elements on this track, and it is a straightforward metal track. The band maintains the heavy momentum on the second track, “Beneath Your Skin.” The riffs are, dare I say nu-metal, more reminiscent of Sevendust than Symphony X. This is not a bad thing, as the subtle keyboards and whirling chorus gives the track greater emotional depth. Guitarist Mario Torres lays out a nice solo toward the song’s end.

 “Garden of Winter” is the album’s centerpiece, as it features guest vocals by Leaves’ Eyes frontwoman Elina Siirala. Siirala and Nix sorrowful harmonies build on the baroque guitar riffs and operatic nature of the track. This is the standout track on Emerge. “Hearts Gone Dark” is a driving track with its double bass drumming and jackhammer riffs. The string samples underscore the gothic nature of the track as though one is running through a dark forest. 

Album closer “What’s Your Fuel” is another dynamic metal track with a smattering of electronica. The chorus is infectious and Nix’s vocals are in top form.

The production on Emerge is solid, but nothing extraordinary. The bass is present in the mix, but not heavily. Furthermore Nix’s vocals are not lost in the mix, giving the songs a perfect balance between vocals and instruments. Emerge has more simple guitar riffs and percussion, and less emphasis on symphonic samples. However, the keyboards and acoustic guitars on songs like “Victims Of Our Heaven” provide a nice contrast to the heavier tracks on the album.

Emerge is a good record that will satisfy fans of bands like Xandria and Delain. While Chaos Magic is not the most musically progressive band in this sub-genre, it offers enough musical variety that keeps the album interesting but cohesive. The band can only go up from here.

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