Chaos Divine may not be a band you’ve heard of before. Certainly I haven’t. Describing themselves on their Facebook page as “progressive hard rock”, I’d say they weren’t too far off the mark. Citing both prog and heavy influences such as Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, Gojira and Mastodon, they fuse together to make a great new discovery.
Full of heavy riffs, vocals both equal in screams and clean on top of melodies, it makes for a breath of fresh air when I’m more used to listening to stripped back raw hard rock. The comparison I can’t shake from my mind is Mastodon when listening to Colliding Skies. There’s the equal mixture of melody and uncompromising dirty riffs and grooves. For a lot of the cleaner parts of the vocals, I’m reminded of Howard Jones (former Killswitch Engage vocalist) to the point where a couple of times I have to double check who I’m listening to.
For a band that’s been together since 2006, it shows. There’s some tight playing on this album; a picture of a band who are sure of their own role and the guys they’re making music with. Having not heard their previous two albums; on the strength of this, I’m sure Chaos Divine are an underrated gem. Guitars wail, scream and shred in equal measure from Simon Mitchell and Ryan Felton. And for a band with a relatively small following and seemingly no label support, they’ve managed to make a very professional sounding record with some excellent production.
“Symbiotic” and “Tides” feel very metalcore. Think Killswitch Engage (especially The End of Heartache or As Daylight Dies) or Diaries of a Hero but on some of their softer, more melodic material. Whilst sticking out a bit from the rest of the album, it makes for a nice change of pace especially as they both sit together in the middle of the album, bringing something fresh to the table.
Elsewhere, we have album opener “Landmines” and whilst I initially thought it was a bit leftfield for my tastes, it’s the perfect opening track. It takes what you know, shakes it up a little bit (not so much that it forces you to find something more familiar) before it sticks its claws into you and suddenly you want to hear more. It’s certainly got a bit more of a Mastodon feel with a chugging riff and a solid rhythm from Ben Mazzarol (drums) and Michael Kruit (bass) to force you to nod along with the beat.
Given the prog influences of the band, most songs are pretty lengthy, making for a shorter tracklist overall. However, no song feels like it outstays its welcome. They’re all rather meaty and enjoyable.
Chaos Divine have a great album in Colliding Skies and despite being slightly out of my comfort zone, I thought it was a great listen and I’ll be sure to find more of their stuff to listen to.
Colliding Skies is out on March 6th