Chaos Divine – The Human Connection

Perth’s Chaos Divine – one of Australia’s best progressive metal exports since Vanishing Point – are back with their sophomore release, The Human Connection.

Their 2008 debut album, Avalon, saw the band on the receiving end of much critical acclaim, culminating in numerous awards, including being voted one of the top ten international metal albums of the year by triple j listeners. The band then went on a successful string of dates touring both locally and abroad with the Big Day Out and ProgPower Europe festivals.

The Human Connection is one of the most eagerly anticipated Australian metal releases of the year and it doesn’t take the listener long to realise why. Our answer to Opeth immediately engage the audience within the first few opening bars of One Door, a pulsating and emotional underlying riff provides the foundation for what is a song worthy of inclusion on an album from any of the world’s best progressive metal bands. That being said, Chaos Divine offer a darker edge than many prog-metallers before them opting for a partnership of clean vocals and growls, like many latter year melodic death metal bands.

The abilities of guitarists Simon Mitchell and *Ryan Felton,*as well as the vocal talents of David Anderton, are aided at the control desk by Sweden’s Jens Bogren who has produced for Symphony X, Katatonia and Opeth. The band draw the listener in with some entrancing time changes laid by the tight rhythm section of drummer Ben Mazarol and bassist Michael Kruit. The band often delves into hypnotic breaks and unlike many progressive metal albums, this is one that you can listen to from start to end without once reaching for the forward button.

Chasing Shadows and Silence combine accessible melody and song-writing with musical craftsmanship to a tee whilst the heavier Inert Evolution is similar to Scar Symmetry. This is no doubt a band that has drawn heavily from both the melodic progressive stylings of Dream Theatre and Fates Warning and the Gothenburg-sound of In Flames and Dark Tranquility.

No Road Home (Solastalgia) is an ode to Australian Professor Glenn Albrecht, who in 2003 coined the neologism solastalgia, in reference to the distress that is produced by environmental change impacting on people while they are directly connected to their home environment. The track itself clocks in at 12:15 which is always a risk for a band of any calibre, however Chaos Divine provide enough by way of engaging key changes, melodies and breaks that keep the listener glued to their speakers for the entire track.

It’s hard to find anything all that negative to say about the band’s second offering and if there’s any justice, touring in support of this album should see them get picked up by a major label in the very near future. The band are expected to play shows around the country soon so head out and support local metal as Chaos Divine have again demonstrated that we can mix it with the best that our overseas counterparts have to offer.