EP review: CHAOS MAGIC – Desert Rose

CHAOS MAGIC – Desert Rose

Frontiers [Release date 08.05.20]

A meeting of minds and talent, Chilean outfit Chaos Magic are an exciting prospect who have managed to blaze their way into many a Symphonic Rock fans heart. With two albums under their belt (the self-titled debut and ‘Furyborn’) the band felt they’d have some fun and this four track covers EP is the result. The choices of songs are diverse but perfectly fit together, all done in the inimitable style that Chaos Magic have made their own, balancing the original heart of the songs but adding their own, very individual, twist on things.

First up is their take on Sting’s ‘Desert Rose’, imbuing it with a mysterious Eastern edge and a glorious widescreen power that gives it an urgency and depth. Guitars grind as the vocals of Caterina Nix weave a magic spell, mixing perfectly with those of Zaher Zorgati and the stunning percussion provided by Mike Terrana insistently drives through the track. Taking the massive melody and dynamics of Faith No More’s ‘Ashes to Ashes’, the band take it to another level entirely, the wrecking ball heaviness juxtaposed with its soaring choruses that surpass the glory of the original as Nix’s glorious voice goes into overdrive.

Bruce Dickinson’s ‘Accident of Birth’ is given the rampaging symphonic rock treatment, the ground shakes as a stampede of wild horses charge from the speakers, flattening everything in their path. This is melody at its heaviest and most crushing, the stabs of guitars, drums and bass deadly accurate as they pin you to the wall. After this barrage there’s nowhere else to go but the calm after the storm and this is provided in the form of the Duran Duran classic ballad ‘Ordinary World’, arguably the best song in the Birmingham boys canon. Starting off gently with soft tones from the vocals, piano and cello it glides its way towards the first chorus after which it builds and builds until it takes passionate flight. The effect is akin to the light of dawn’s first rays creeping through the shutters of a Gothic mansion before bursting through in a blinding technicolour explosion, the passion and drama becoming overwhelming. Expertly crafted and beautifully arranged, performed and recorded, this quartet of tracks very much puts a new, magnificent coat of paint on these much-loved originals. Well worth the price of entry. ****

Review by Paul Monkhouse

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