Mix and Mastering by Nekkomix except “The sins between the stars” mixed by Maria Davis and Rafat Bowman. Artwork based on The Lagoon Nebula photo_taken by Prabhu Astrophotography and edited by Rafat Bowman.
Guest appearance by Keaton Lyon on “The sins between the stars”.
Guitarist and programmer, Rafał now has a new bandmate and song writing partner in KC Lyon.
Having thoroughly enjoyed Chaos over Cosmos’s previous album, the compilation album The Ultimate Multiverse (2020), I had high hopes again for this, their first full-length album since their debut release The Unknown Voyage (2018). But to be honest, I found this to be quite a mixed bag.
Opening track “Violent equilibrium” (track 1) is the longest track on the album, clocking in at a truly prog-tastic 10 minutes 47 seconds. It’s all widdly guitars and complicated time signatures and rhythms. It seems to walk that fine line between truly having something to say and simply being a vehicle for showing off one’s instrument-craft. There are moments in this song where the melody soars and your heart is taken with it on that journey and others where the almost-mechanical and impersonal nature of the music makes it sound as if Speak & Spell had babies with a machine-gun. Beyond the main riff, I’m not entirely sure there was really enough to say.
“The last man in orbit” (track 2) continues in a similar vein with industrial drumbeats carving out a path for squeaking guitar licks and growling vocals to blast. There are some beautiful moments in this song, not least the emotional guitar solo a little before halfway through.
The only instrumental song on the album, “Eternal return” (track 3) brings down the pace a little and gone are the incessant blast beats. We are now more in the realm of Dream Theater-style arpeggios and world class noodling.
The arpeggios continue into “Control ZED” (track 4) which morphs into an electronic-sounding riff before the drums once again blast into life leading us into a fairly paint-by-numbers prog track.
The closing and second longest track, “The sins between the stars” (track 5) has a completely different feel to the rest of the album. Gone (at least initially) are the wall of blast beats, guitars and gruff vocals, to be replaced with clean vocals, crystal clear guitars and a slow melody. It has echoes of some of the drone/shoegaze music of Justin Broadrick’s Jesu project. This is the song on the album with the most soul. I felt that I could relax into it as it has space to breathe and grow.
As I said above, for me, this is a bit of a mixed bag as albums go. I wanted to really like it, I really did, given my appreciation of their previous offering. The song writing is great, the production is clear, there was just something that didn’t completely click with me until we reached “The sins between the stars” which for me is the stand-out song on this album. It is full of emotion, passion and dynamics.
Review score: 70%
Rafał Bowman, guitarist (and much more) with Chaos over Cosmos contacted me in June 2022 inviting me to review The Silver Lining, having reviewed their previous album The Ultimate Multiverse. But I got pretty sick in the latter half of 2022 and have only just gotten around to reviewing it. Sorry about that.
I have no connections to Chaos over Cosmos. I’m not being paid to review this, but I did get a free digital copy of the album to review which is pretty cool. Thanks Rafał and KC. Many thanks to Chaos over Cosmos for creating fresh, exciting music.