Frontiers Records [Release date 03.07.15]
Chaos Magic is the band created by Frontiers as a showcase for Chilean vocalist Caterina Nix (Aghonya anyone?) with all song writing duties being supplied by that man Timo Tolkki…does he ever stop? First we had his very hit and miss TT Avalon releases (the second one featuring Ms Nix amongst others), then the excellent Allen-Lande ‘The Great Divide’ and now this…
From the very first note it is clear that Chaos Magic has been wonderfully produced by Mr Tolkki…everything is crystal clear and Ms Nix’s vocals are just plain wonderful throughout.
Opener I’m Alive begins with pounding violins and a choir until Timo breaks loose. The main keyboard refrain is odd but effective and the Within Temptation comparisons start, but don’t finish, here.
Dangerous Game features only keyboards and vocals until the thunder kicks in again. There are also some very effective “pauses” thrown into the mix in this one. One Drop of Blood is pure Within Temptation from the tone of the guitar through to Katerina’s vocals…but that doesn’t detract from the sheer quality provided.
From The Stars has one of those big kitchen sink type openings – so orchestra…check, choir…check, pounding drums…check, screaming guitar…check but then it suddenly drops back to a lone piano and vocals. The song slowly builds again through to the chorus. Definitely a vocal showcase this one.
Tolkki repeats a similar approach on the remaining songs…either recent Within Temptation like numbers or the loud, quiet, loud formula…which also could be well you know who!
Please Don’t Tell Me is slightly different in feel as it brings to mind Nightwish on one of their Celtic flavoured numbers…prominent use of the flute on this one. It is all very acoustic with a lightweight keyboard refrain and seagulls backing the clear lead vocal before at 3:21 all heaven breaks loose for well 30 seconds…
Chaos Magic is, as you will have gathered, Timo Tolkki doing his best Within Temptation copy…tribute…well whatever you want to call it…it is actually very enjoyable!
Excellent production, glorious vocals, atmospheric and well written songs…Mr Tolkki is definitely on to a winner with this one! ****½
Review by Phil Berisford
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