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Chaos Code - A Tapestry Of Afterthoughts CD (album) cover


Chaos Code


Symphonic Prog

3.94 | 38 ratings

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4 stars Chaos Code's debut is a feast of heavy rock with elements of Neo, Symph, and Metal "riff" rock all rolled up in a tasty tale of man's path towards one scary future. The cover art nicely sums up the apocolyptic tale at hand. I'm no expert at deciphering lyrics and I don't want to put words in the bands mouth, but I concur with another reviewer that this appears to be a tale of the disaster that Capitalist greed and ill-employed technology are leading us towards. And the emptiness of lives bestowed by the consumer culture and the tragic effect on our planet. Grim stuff, but the music doesn't wallow in sadness. It lurks there for a while but does rise to give us hope and joy also.

The real prize here is some great rock guitar that builds ominous riffs into explosive bursts of solos that are not just a million notes of flash, but meaningful and emotional. Cliff Phelps *gets* that sometimes less is more when it comes to soloing, that guitar playing does not have to be akin to "extreme sports" to be powerful. The bass playing is solid and the keys good, and there are wonderful passages of flute and other embellishments. But the guitar work of Phelps delivers the goods, just killer stuff. This is the kind of guitar work that just makes you close your eyes and fly with the song, hard to describe, but without a doubt the most conversational and interesting I've heard in ages. Gorgeous. Bravo Cliff!

There are a few problems. The drums are strangely tentative to me. Perhaps they are just "controlled" but sometimes I think the drummer could tear it up a little more than he does. But this is a minor complaint. Luckily this can't bring down the rest of the band though, they swing for the fence anyway. The vocals are not overly dramatic like so many singers nowadays, but rather restrained. And the production. While I like the sensible low-key production here it may sound weird to people used to the slick over-produced albums by the majors. I have the feeling the release was low budget and it's a compliment to the men involved that they pulled off such a monster debut.

I hate to compare Chaos Code to other bands because they are actually unique. If you like great guitar, dark Sci-Fi concepts, and a grand feel kind of like a Phideaux album you might try this. Get it before it vanishes!

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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