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Album Reviews : Chaos Divine – The Human Connection

By on November 24, 2011

Every so often you will come across an album so beautiful that as much as you want to share it with everyone you know, you do not want to try and describe it to anyone simply because words cannot do it justice. This is not a matter of it being better or worse than any other album, but just the fact that there is so much feeling that can be portrayed through music it is often hard to express that through any other medium. With the incredible The Human Connection (2011) Perth’s Chaos Divine have produced such a release. The album is as innovative as it is powerful and as creative as it is intelligent and yet it still manages to be perfectly accessible, with each moment being attention-grabbing while still moving the songs forward.

One of the many hallmarks of a fantastic album is that it will grab your ears on the very first listen and yet the sound never gets old, as you continue to find more and more things to love. There are many elements to The Human Connection that will jump out at you on the first listen: the shredding intro to “At the Ringing of the Siren”, the pounding rhythms of “The Beaten Path”, the gorgeous melodies of “Astral Plane”, the incredible clean vocals in “One Door” and the rip-roaring screams in “Invert Evolution”. Yet the album will seem to get better and better with every listen as you understand how masterfully the carefully built atmospheres flow into heavy rhythmic arrangements and back again before evolving into subtle melodic patterns that dance in and out of the structure. Further and further you can delve and you will still find more things to entertain your ears; the little shred fills here, the quirky vocal frill there, the interesting drum patterns permeating the whole album and so on. Yet despite its intricacy, The Human Connection never loses sight of the bigger picture and really is an album in the true sense of the word, not just a collection of songs, with the larger sound moving in very definite ways over the course of an hour, concluding with the suitably epic 12-minute closer “No Road Home (Solastalgia)”.

This album is unusual in that all the component parts combine to produce the mind-blowing resultant sound, rather than relying on flashy talent in one department to drive the sound. While the lead guitar occasionally takes to the fore in the few (seriously awesome) solos, it is typically used for weaving sweet melodies through the songs, combining with the synths and keys to create a truly massive backdrop for the rhythms and vocals to work through. The drums are generally not the centre of attention, choosing to drive the songs though progressive rhythm patterns rather than driving double kick, complementing the heavy chugging sections when they appear rather than attempting to smash through them.

That all being said, it is the vocals of David Anderton, more than anything else, that really push this album from being awesome into being nothing short of spectacular. Anderton manages to weave his magic appropriately through the album, not going crazy over the softer sections or whispering under the heavier assaults. A smooth, rich, low clean tone is the standard weapon of choice across the album, able to move seamlessly into more midrange sounds and well into the higher frequencies, but shifts into overdrive mode when the song calls for it with an assortment of massive roars and higher shrieks.

The Human Connection truly boasts a unique sound, one which you really must hear with your own ears to fully appreciate. Comparisons with the likes of Opeth and Devin Townsend are floating around the web, but being awesome and progressive are about where the comparisons end. Better comparisons are probably found with the left-of-field approach of Tool without all the annoying self-indulgent filler stuff. The best I can come up with is imagine if someone like Dead Letter Circus or Porcupine Tree went somewhat more metal; but even that only takes it so far. Just go listen to it. It’s amazing. 9.5/10

Band: Chaos Divine
Album: The Human Connection
Year: 2011
Genre: Progressive Metal
Origin: Perth, Australia
Label: Firestarter
http://www.facebook.com/chaosdivine

Tracklisting:
1. One Door              <– Reviewer’s Choice
2. At the Ringing of the Siren
3. The Beaten Path
4. Chasing Shadows
5. Silence
6. Beautiful Abyss
7. Invert Evolution
8. Astral Plane
9. No Road Home (Solastalgia)

About

Sam Maher is Metal Obsession's resident prog reviewer. He only likes songs that are at least 15 minutes long, contain 4 guitar solos and can only be described with a genre that is at least six words long. He also plays guitar for Sydney-based groovy melodic progressive technical death metal band Apparitions of Null.