Published on July 17th, 2019 | by Justin G.
Chaos Magic: Furyborn (Frontiers, 2019)
If you wrote off Chaos Magic as a one-off Timo Tolkki project after their 2015 debut, now is a very good time to give them a second chance. They’re out with a second full-length album, titled Furyborn, and the former Stratovarius guitarist is nowhere to be found. Instead Furyborn finds Chilean vocal sensation Caterina Nix paired with countryman Nasson, who handles guitars, bass, keys, additional vocals and production. Furyborn also features guest vocals by Tom Englund (Evergrey), Ronnie Romero (Rainbow, ex-Lords of Black) and Ailyn Giminez (Sirenia), plus mixing by none other than Jacob Hansen, who did such a memorable job on albums by Volbeat, Pretty Maids, Amaranthe and The Dark Element.
Speaking of The Dark Element, that’s more or less the core sound Chaos Magic has going on here. It’s melodic metal with some symphonic elements and some very heavy, aggressive moments to balance out the beauty of Nix’s vocals. She has a huge presence here, conveying a range of power and emotion while avoiding the whole “dainty damsel” trap some symphonic metal vocalists fall into. She can hold her own against crunching guitars and relentless rhythms, and can bring a more somber emotional tone when needed. We get a first class performance from her on Furyborn, and her duets with Englund (“Furyborn”) and Romero (“Path Of The Brave”) in particular are real treats. It helps that Nasson and company give her a killer slate of songs to work with. The album has fantastic and utterly memorable melodies, a satisfying heaviness and the kind of choruses that get stuck in your head, and of course a first-rate mix.
Aside from the duets, your powerhouse tracks here are leadoff rocker “You Will Breathe Again,” the almost industrial closer “I’m Your Cancer” and “Throw Me To The Wolves.” There aren’t any weak moments though. Furyborn is really solid all the way through.
This was a very pleasant surprise. Caterina Nix and company have far surpassed the Chaos Magic debut with Furyborn. This is a must-have album for fans of The Dark Element, Within Temptation, Beautiful Sin and melodic metal with female vocals in general.
Summary: Very strong melodic metal album