Formed only in 2016, Chaos Over Cosmos are a brand new power/progressive metal band and their first release is The Unknown Voyage.
In their own words, and with more than a little good humour, Chaos Over Cosmos formed when –
” a young and promising warrior of the stars called Rafal Bowman started the creation of an astral project of music and might that will blow the whole universe away. The process took 3 years of intense pain, endless wages against time and cosmic tribulations that ended in a majestic demonstration of power and might. Never satisfied with his work, Rafal started a quest to find a vocalist to give voice and soul to his marvellous music. After thousands of candidates and never-ending failure, our hero found the true voice of the cosmos and the harbinger of the stars, the not-so-young (but handsome!) Spanish vocalist Javier Calderon”.
Chaos Over Cosmos represents the union of two sounds from two countries (Poland and Spain) but with a singular mission. To create mind blowing metal. It may seem strange when you hear that both member shave never actually even met each other. It might even seem a little “anti metal” seeing as we like to believe our bands all grew up together, play together, scrub each others backs in the bath etc.. But what matters really is the output of their combined efforts and that is where Chaos Over Cosmos have smashed it. It is quite nice to consider that two people, hundreds of miles apart, in different lands and from different cultures can be connected so heavily through the power of music.
The Unknown Voyage is 5 tracks in length with some lengthy ones in the mix. The voyage starts off with A Hidden Path. It starts with an ambient, synth sound building layers of atmosphere. As it gently builds, a clear ringing guitar starts playing a gentle melody over the top. There is a lot of synth and programming within the ethereal atmosphere which closes to the spoken word of German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, relaying a passage from the novel Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Despite it’s length, at over 2 and a half minutes, it acts more as an intro, preparing you for the voyage ahead.
It leads nicely into track 2, Armour of the Stars (Xenogears). This one is almost 15 minutes long and is inspired by the cult classic 90s PlayStation RPG Xenogears. It starts with a bit of a power metal vibe. Programmed drums tap out a quick beat while the guitar solos enthusiastically over the top. It switches to a galloping riff as we get the first listen to vocals. They are delivered well, again sounding a bit power metal but with plenty of energy and attitude. The whole of this track is basically an excellent delivery of riffs, solos and vocals. Constantly switching up the riff keeps it exciting and there area few massive solos, reminiscent of guitar greats like Satriani. I guess the biggest evidence in how well played this song is comes from the fact that the 15 minutes flies by in seconds.
Thye Will Fall comes next and mixes things up bringing in a lower, rumbling groove that has little hints of Black Sabbath in it. The drums have a bit more power to them in this one and the vocals mix up a bit making use of echoes at the start. Again there is a lot of exciting guitar work especially in the solos. I love the little drum led section in the middle. It really stands out and adds a little spice to keep things fresh.
The Compass is another long track at almost 11 minutes long. It has a slow tempo to start with as the clean vocals are sang really well. It does build up gradually as the track goes on. You get to understand how talented a vocalist Calderon is as he delivers constantly in slightly differing styles. Around half way through the track switches up to a quick drum beat and head-bang inducing riff. This also gives Bowman the platform to get those melodies and solos going again.
The Unknown Voyage ends on an instrumental called The Sky Remembered My Name. Based on what I have heard so far, I already know what is coming and expect a masterclass in riffs and solos. That is exactly what you get. A bit of a showcase. Essentially the track moves from solo to solo with each one bridged by a moment of riffing and drum blasts. There is also time for a return to the sound of the start of the voyage with a little ambient synth before we get back to soloing through to the end.
The Unknown Voyage is an exciting bit of metal. It sounds fresh and exhilarating, taking you on a journey. The multiple layers within each track add depth where you would maybe expect a two man band (who have never met) to lack but it goes to show what you can achieve if you are dedicated and ambitious enough. It is not without it’s faults though. The age old issue of programmed drums just means the beats lack the depth and power only achievable through the real thing. While rare, there are a few moments, especially at the start of Armour of the Stars where the vocals seem tacked on, rather than naturally part of the song. Like I said, this is rare though with the vast majority being mixed really well.
The album deserves to end on a positive though so what you get here is exciting music with strong vocals. The songs are well structured with strong riffing and an absolute masterclass in guitars and soloing. I look forward to seeing where Chaos Over Cosmos go from here.
The Unknown Voyage is available now for free at the band’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Make sure you hit that like, follow or subscribe button while you are there. You can, and should try to, contribute though by picking it up from Chaos Over Cosmos’ Bandcamp page here.
The Unknown Voyage by Chaos Over Cosmos (Self Released)
The Final Score - 8/10