Chaosbay – Boxes (EP Review)

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The up-and-coming metal band Chaosbay shook the metal world back in 2020 with the release of their critically acclaimed album “Asylum”, which confirmed them as a thunderous force to be reckoned as one of the most exciting metal acts of the moment. Now, they are back with another collection of authentic bangers that comes in the form of a new EP titled “Boxes”, which sees the band continue with their fabulous streak of releasing flawless and remarkable material.

In “Boxes”, the listener will find another masterclass in erasing any border between genres with surprising cohesiveness by introducing a brilliant blending of diverse musical approaches ranging from wild djent to tuneful pop. Such mixture evolves gracefully throughout each song, making every twist feel natural, as surprising as they may be. For instance, Chaosbay manages that a brutal riff, suddenly followed by an insane breakdown, with intricate and heavy passages in between, with a melodic phase to go next and continued by a crushing solo, makes complete sense.

So, how does Chaosbay sound? Imagine a boy band that suddenly learned how to play instruments at a virtuous level, with intricate structures being an everyday thing. Their singer just contracted a strange sore throat that, at some points, it prevents him from displaying his melodious voice, with only shaking harsh vocals coming out of him. Or picture a Meshuggah-inspired band that abruptly discovered that life is good and that with love, everything is possible. Those kinds of contrasts are often displayed through Boxes.

The German band behaves as if they suffered from the same thing that afflicted the affable Dr. Jekyll, with the difference that their particular Mr. Hyde has been listening to a lot of heavy and obscure music. By listening to the opening track “Y”, the listener will quickly find out the duality portrayed by the band. Not only do the various approaches contrast each other, but on occasions, they intermingle in a way that a whole range of musical nuances is displayed.

Whether it’s through the featured changes between clean vocals and evil growls by guitarist/singer Jan Listing or the alternation between a rather catchy chorus and mellow passages with beastly riffs, “Y” is a total banger that will have the listener shaking his neck with intensity. The final part of the song is a perfect example of the contrasting essence of the band. After pretending that the song was over, a heavy and aggressive section is followed by a beautiful melody that seems to indicate that nothing has happened, although only a few seconds ago, hell and chaos had broken loose.

“Lonely People” presents once again the contrasts referred but in a different manner that allows the listener to be surprised by the next unexpected turn, which shows how Chaosbay manages to keep the EP dynamic, intriguing and exciting.

Speaking of surprises, for the next track, “The Prophet”, we find that the vocals have been given a robotic treatment. Although it may look like the automated voice is the main element of the song, it is the rhythmic base that claims the song. The bass seems unstoppable with its frantic lines, while the savage drumming patterns are set free into the wild. When the breakdowns start to happen, the duo seems to be one-note away from setting fire to their respective instrument.

“Ivory Tower” sees the band pulling for a djent and core direction, turning it into a track that, despite its aggressiveness, there is still room for pleasing passages. All the heaviness is contrasted by the use of a soft voice, which once again shows Listing´s impressive vocal range, as well as an appealing chorus, some melodic passages, and a harmonious guitar solo. The last track, “Willows By The Lake” is in charge of closing the EP with a remarkable emotional depth that the listener had not witnessed in the previous songs. Although there is indeed heaviness among it, this song presents a more heartfelt and harmonious side of Chaosbay, showing one more skill of the band, which consists of their ability to move the listener.

Chaosbay usually reflects upon relevant issues that affect human beings with their music. In the case of “Boxes”, the band looks into a modern person´s mind and contemplates the noxious effects and anxiety caused by the use of technology and its scope in our daily lives. The way their reflections are presented to us is through their characteristic blending of sonic directions, where they demonstrate that there is no limit to creativity and that intricate, heavy, and aggressive passages can be accompanied by subtle, harmonious, and pop moments.

“Boxes” is a sonorous canvas painted with various colors in a unique palette representing the musical spectrum. Each color has been carefully curated, bravely selected, and brilliantly mixed, which allows the creation of an outstanding EP that sees Chaosbay continue their way as future legends of progressive metal.

Released by: Circular Wave
Release date: January 13th, 2022
Genre: Progressive Metal

Musicians:

  • Jan Listing / Vocals, Guitars
  • Alexander Langner / Guitars
  • Matthias Heising / Bass
  • Patrick Bernath / Drums

“Boxes” track-listing:

  1. The Prophet
  2. Y
  3. Lonely People
  4. Ivory Tower
  5. Willows By The Lake
 

9.3 Excellent

With "Boxes", Chaosbay presents an intriguing and appealing proposal that blends ferocious and intricate musicianship with melodic and pop passages, resulting in a remarkable collection of authentic bangers that sees the young German band cementing their path to the top of the prog metal summit

  • Songwriting 9.5
  • Musicianship 9.5
  • Originality 9
  • Production 9
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