‘Second Life’ by Chaoseum [Album Review]

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Background from the Band

CHAOSEUM create energetic music in a modern metalcore style. A polyvalent voice adds personality and another aspect to the songs. The musicians’ have custom makeup as well as a theatrical side to their show which captivates the public.

The band was founded in 2018 by Loic Duruz and Valery Veings, both former guitarists of the symphonic metal band ELFERYA. Their first album “First Step To Hell” contains 11 songs and was released in September of the same year with Lola van Lo as the singer and Greg Turini as the drummer, both former ELFERYA musicians as well. This album was recorded at the Chaos Studio and mixed by Izakar at the Full Metal Studio. The artwork was entrusted with Gustavo Sazes.

In February 2019, CHAOSEUM joined SOUFLY in the USA for a tour of seven concerts on the East Coast. Afterwards, back in Switzerland, the singer left the band and then CK Smile joined. The song “First Step To Hell” was subsequently rerecorded.

A limited-edition Live album was recorded at the band’s second concert with CK as a frontman. It was released under the name “Live In Hell – Les Docks Lausanne 2019”.

In September of 2019, the band joined TARJA (Ex-NIGHTWISH) for a tour in Russia. It had considerable success with Russian metal fans.

Representing the Xvive brand, CHAOSEUM went to Los Angeles in order to perform at the Namm – the largest music trade show. There, the band also took the opportunity to play at the legendary Whisky a Go Go.

A few weeks later, the foursome released the first single from their upcoming album “Second Life” titled “Into My Split”.

“Second Life” was released on September 25th, 2020. It was recorded at both the Chaos Studio and the Conatus Studio. Gwen Kerjan from the Slab Sound Studio was in charge of the mix, and as always, Gustavo Sazestakes took care of the artwork.

Due to Covid-19, the European tour with FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE is unfortunately postponed until October 2021.

Welcome to the museum of chaos.

Vocals

I want to talk about the vocals for a second because I think there are a lot of interesting things happening.

First off, I like the slight bit of grit that is in the vocals. That’s a nice texture to it, and it fits with the genre that they’re trying to sing in without interfering with pronunciation and the lyrical content. I find when people put a bunch of rasp or grit into their voice, it can be a bit distracting because it takes over the entirety of their voice. Whereas in this case, it’s just there for a tiny bit of texture.

More interesting is when there are clean vocals, which there are a few times during this album.

The first time I noticed it was in ‘Second Life.’ There are some cleaner vocals used in the background of the main vocal. But it wasn’t really until ‘Smile Again,’ near the end of the song, where things got stripped back to the piano and the vocal that we got to hear a cleaner sound in the lead. It just has a nice sound to it, and it’s well controlled. I find that rock and metal music can be a little bit hit or miss on whether the vocal will have a nice control and whether it will be sonically pleasant to listen to, but in this case, I enjoyed the singing.

‘Smile Again’

I want to take a moment to be a huge music nerd and talk about how much I like the production in this particular song. I know that’s not something that the average listener will be interested in, but I love a track that is just really well mixed together.

Part of what I like about this song is the dynamics. There’s a nice balance between switching up the sound, but also having consistency in the overall tone. It starts heavy with distorted guitars and drums, and then by the end of the song, it’s just piano and vocals. It’s a beautiful transition throughout the song to go from that starting point to that endpoint and not have it feel like there’s whiplash in between that transition. It’s also four and a half minutes long, and I never feel that length when I hear it because there’s so much going.

Transitions

A quick shout out to the creepy carnival transitions in this album.

I thought they were cool, and they added to the overall atmosphere of the album. They also just made me nostalgic for the rock albums I like to listen to in the only 2000s when there was this love of the creepy carnival aesthetic. That makes it sound like I have a weird taste in music, which I do, but I enjoy remembering a rock scene that, in my brain, has disappeared over the years. I’m pretty unimpressed and non-committal with the current rock music scene and the direction that it’s heading in, so it was nice to have an album that harkens back to something that I enjoyed. (Reading this back, I realized I nonchalantly used the word “harken” which is a new kind of nerdy for me).

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Overall, this was a really enjoyable album.

I don’t know if I’m just in a spooky mood because we’re heading into October of what but I’ve saved a few of the songs to my regular rotation and I’ll probably came back to this band to hear some of their other stuff in the future.

Find the Band at:

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