Polish-Australian progressive metal project CHAOS OVER COSMOS is back with their third EP simply titled “II,” as this is the second EP with vocalist Joshua Radcliff, which will be released independently on 1 May 2020.
Still blending progressive metal elements with layered melodies, ambient soundscapes, low tuned guitars, and death metal growls, “II” is the logical continuation of their self-titled EP “Chaos Over Cosmos,” even if is more guitar-driven and less atmospheric. The EP’s 23 minute runtime is full of energy and melody, as again Rafal Bowman showcases his virtuosity as a guitar player, while Joshua Radcliff provides some growls and cleans that highlight his vocal capabilities very well. “We Will Not…” starts this EP with atmospheric keys that soon give way to drums and guitars, to which growls are later added. The guitar melody is front and centered with everything else happening a bit more in the background and I really like this emphasis on guitar. It grows in intensity as it progresses, finishing off with pounding drums, fast-paced melodies, and screamed vocals in a rather black metal fashion. Second track “Worlds Apart” is the heaviest song I have heard in a long, long time, with a preeminent bass line, powerful double bass drumming, and growled vocals somewhere in the background while atmospheric keys add texture to the music. It’s a really dense, layered, and gloomy track, with the over-the-top solo providing some melody in the second half. Diametrically opposed to “Worlds Apart” and clocking in at 8 minutes, the proggy “One Hundred” brings back the magic of what CHAOS OVER COSMOS had on its debut EP, “The Unknown Voyage,” with ambient synth harmonies that bring some SF vibes, coupled with extremely melodic guitar lines and clean, whispered vocals. It ebbs and flows between mellow passages and heavier ones, with a neat overlapping of cleans and growls for more intensity and drama. Closing track “Fall” combines all these elements – synth soundscapes, guitar melodies, growls – into an epic display of virtuosity both from Joshua Radcliff and Rafal Bowman. Again the overlapping of cleans and growls give so much intensity to the song, while the backing synth and keyboard add atmosphere and depth to the music.
This EP feels like a dance between darkness and light as there are very heavy and dark moments on this EP but also some very airy and breezy passages that counterbalance each other perfectly. The synths and guitars are magnificent throughout, while the vocals and drums offer great backing harmonies. Fans of the heavier side of Progressive Metal will definitely appreciate this EP, as well as their previous releases.
Written by Andrea Crow
- We Will Not…
- Worlds Apart
- One Hundred
Joshua Radcliff – vocals, lyrics, songwriting
Rafal Bowman – guitars, synths, programming songwriting