|Chaos Calling - 'Beyond Illusions' (Self Released)|
|Written by Ben Hughes|
|Thursday, 27 January 2011 05:30|
Brighton based Chaos Calling started life as a prog metal trio playing instrumentals until hooking up with vocalist Paul 'Jacko' Jackson. 'Beyond Illusions' is their eight track debut album clocking in at just under an hour and, even with my maths abilities, it doesn't take a genius to work out there is gonna be some prog going on.
Chaos Calling claim to "have not fallen into the trap of playing 25 min shred-fests" and with album opener 'Thin Ice' clocking in at just under 9 minutes I guess they aren't lying. The picked harmonics intro of 'Thin Ice' sound great followed by the whispered intro vocal of "Can you feel the shot?" - it sets the scene nicely, before kicking in with bass drum and jagged guitar to a rap/rock crossover that brings to mind early Papa Roach, veering off into prog territory after the mid section.
'Twisted Is Twisted Does' has an early Chilis/Limp Bizkit feel to it; there is some serious musicianship going on. 'Ritual Misery' starts with a heavy Soundgarden-like riff then comes on like a watered down Rage Against The Machine. There are some nice stop-start riffs and breakdowns such as the more uptempo 'Conflict Control' with its refrain of "I don't need this, you don't need me" - it works well and has a bit more of an attitude to it, matching the lyrics; if you're gonna rage then bloody well RAGE!
The song structures are complex, maybe more than they need to be in places and there is a lack of genuine hooks. The deep, intelligent lyrics deal with such issues as power struggle, fighting the system and standing up for rights and what you believe in, and sounding at times pissed off, but this doesn't generally come across in the music.
I'm sure prog fans will love it, and there is a lot to take in. Songs like the Rage/System Of A Down sounding 'Push The System' and the 10 minute closer 'Relentless' sure show their talents and prog rock leanings and with repeated plays I am sure the listener will reap the rewards yet, for me, the vocal style and delivery don't quite cut it, not really having enough attitude to pull off a rap crossover. Maybe it's the recording and live it may well sound a lot different? There sure is some interesting stuff going on, but some songs sound like instrumentals that have had some vocals added as an afterthought. A bit harsh?..maybe, a lot of effort has gone into this album and I'm sure they haven't done it that way, but maybe that's just progressive rock for ya!
Chaos Calling have created an interesting hybrid of progressive rap/rock and 'Beyond Illusions' showcases their collective talents; if you like progressive rock maybe this album is for you.