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(60:37, Hands of Blue Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. The Beginning of the End 3:58 2. Whispers of Doom 4:31 3. Atomic Lullaby 4:23 4. Chemical Wraith 4:27 5. Paradise Lost 5:11 6. Children of the Nightmare 5:05 7. All-Seeing Eye 4:04 8. Order of the Dragon 6:35 9. Voices from the Holocaust 4:33 10. Horsemen on the Horizon 5:48 11. The Beast of Gauvedan 4:28 12. Shadow Hymn 7:34 LINEUP: Johnny Caveman – guitars Leanne Lai – keyboards David Ban – vocals Mere Gribie – bass Lucifer Wilson – drums With: Frank Torcasio – guitars
Prolusion. The Australian band CHAOS THEORY was officially formed in 1998, and until they eventually disbanded in 2006 following a number of musicians coming and going they were a band that first and foremost struggled to remain active. They managed to record and release their debut album "Whispers of Doom" just prior to calling it a day in 2006, and it’s this album that the fledgling German label Hands of Blue Records chose as their very first release.
Analysis. It's been a while since I've had the chance to review an album of this particular type. A CD filled with the music I grew up with in my formative years, and a style of music I generally haven't had the time to keep up with over the years. Heavy metal is the name of the game here, and these days I guess traditional is an additional word needed to describe the general contents in a manner that will be understood. At least by the younger generation. It is a rather basic fare of heavy metal we're treated to on this occasion. No fancy compositional structures or sophisticated choices in the arrangements department, steady rhythms and heavy riffs are mainstays throughout. The riff structures owe quite a lot to the good, old New Wave of British Heavy Metal, with occasional forays closer to the likes of Manilla Road and Metallica as they sounded back in the mid 80's. The latter aspects are more on a subtle detail level admittedly, and the similarities to Manilla Road in particular are actually the ones surfacing whenever the band hits a gentler mood rather than when they're heading off into a more epic-tinged department. Mellow, light toned guitar or keyboard driven passages do appear from time to time as a neat contrast to the otherwise dark toned and harder edged landscapes, and it's this blend of light and mellow versus dark and harder edged that at least I found Manilla Road to be intriguingly good at and that Chaos Theory occasionally visits on their first and last production. That vocalist David Ban use a timbre of voice with similarities to Manilla Road frontman is also a reason for comparisons in that direction. When that has been said, there are other similarities to quite another band that dominates this CD. Pace-filled, galloping bass, drums and rhythm guitar, well conceived and performed harmonic guitar textures and solo runs all beg for comparisons to good old Iron Maiden. These aspects don't totally dominate the album but they are dominant features, and to the extent that you'll need to have a taste for that veteran band to be able to enjoy this production. As far as strengths go, I'd also say that it's the guitar solo details and elongated solo runs that is the main one of Chaos Theory. Many of the guitar details in that department are elegant and occasionally stunning. The compositions overall leave quite a bit to be desired however, pleasant fare more than anything, but this is a production that will find its niche crowd and will most likely come across as a high quality piece of heavy metal for a select crowd.
Conclusion. With feet firmly placed in the mid 80's, Chaos Theory has made a pleasant debut album that should appeal to aficionados of traditional heavy metal in general and those with a soft spot for NWOBHM and early Iron Maiden in particular. A few additional details have been added to the mix, but these are traits dominant enough to clearly define the audience of this particular CD.
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