Artist: Chaos Over Cosmos
Album: The Ultimate Multiverse
Label: Narcoleptica Productions
Love and passion for music cannot be limited by borders, nor even a great time difference, and Chaos Over Cosmos is living proof. Made up of two musicians who have never met each other, these two artists decided that distance is not an obstacle and being countries apart couldn’t stop them from making music together. Since their debut album, The Unknown Voyage, the lineup has changed but the same passion remains and they are now ready to release their sophomore effort, The Ultimate Multiverse. The Polish-Australian project is currently made up of guitar virtuoso and multi-instrumentalist Rafal Bowman and songwriter/vocalist Joshua Ratcliff, mixing a progressive cosmic instrumental feel with an aggressive hard rock/metal vocal style.
With the atmospheric sound of arpeggio waves on from the synth, opening track “Cascading Darkness” is like a rollercoaster ride that lifts you from the ground, leading you up into the universe of Chaos Over Cosmos. The song continues with a mischievous play between synth and interesting but pleasant riffs, showing a very versatile combination of different elements between them, with a mix of melancholic grows and lyrical singing. With the two vocal styles mixed together, the whole track suddenly becomes whole, capped off by the nice production and technical quality of the music.
The story continues with “One Hundred,” calming the listener down with sounds of rain and thunder; that is, until the song brings back the magic with ambient synth harmonies infused with some science fiction vibes, extremely melodic guitar lines, and clean, whispered vocals. It gives off the feeling of the tide moving away and flows between mellow and heavier passages, with a neat overlapping of clean vocals and growls for more intensity and drama.
“Worlds Apart” is a heavy song; the progressive guitar parts between the rest of the instruments give the song a feeling of being worlds apart, appropriate for its name. The vocals overlap, with cleans on top of the backdrop of growls and everything is layered on top of a preeminent bass line, powerful double bass drumming, while atmospheric keys add texture to the music. It’s a really dense, layered, and gloomy song, with the over-the-top solo providing some melody in the second half.
“Consumed” continues the album with power and intensity and is full of positive surprises. Strong, almost cracking riffs and penetrating solos combine with excellent vocals; there is a lot to take in. The song is full of energy and melody as again, Bowman always shows his virtuosity as a guitar player, while Radcliff provides some growls and cleans that highlight his vocal capabilities nicely.
The band’s 2020 EP, II, opened with “We Will Not” and closed with “Fall,” but The Ultimate Multiverse has interestingly merged the songs into one, simply entitled “We Will Not Fall.” The intro starts with atmospheric keys that soon give way to drums and guitars, to which growls are later added. The guitar melody is front and center, with the other instruments left a bit more in the background; this emphasis on the guitar works very well. The song escalates and grows in intensity as it progresses, finishing off the “We Will Not” part of the song with pounding drums, fast-paced melodies, and screamed vocals in a rather black metal fashion. The passage between the first part and “Fall” is done so well that it feels like it was always one song. Overall, it combines all of the elements from synth soundscapes, guitar melodies, and growls, merging them into an epic display of virtuosity both from Radcliff and Bowman. Again, the overlapping of clean vocals and growls give so much intensity to the song, while the backing synths and keyboards add atmosphere and depth to the music.
Final track “Asimov” is instrumental and the shortest song on the album, based on – or rather, inspired by – the written works of Isaac Asimov (I, Robot, The Bicentennial Man). The closing track has a very sedate start and a beautiful melodic solo. As an instrumental song, it gives you a story to listen to and the changing tempo gives the song a voice.
The Ultimate Multiverse feels like a dance between darkness and light and leads you by your emotions into a layered universe. Each layer has multiple worlds within, from heavy and dark moments to 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 harmonies. Fans of the heavier side of progressive metal will definitely appreciate this wonderful two-man album.
Rating: 8/10, 4 stars
1. Cascading Darkness
2. One Hundred
3. Worlds Apart
5. We Will Not Fall