Chaos Frame - Paths Of Exile
Nightmare Records
Progressive Metal
8 songs (51:00)
Release year: 2015
Nightmare Records
Reviewed by Joel
Surprise of the month
Do you love Progressive Metal? Do you enjoy bands that push their abilities to create a sound that is completely their own? Do you like the more extreme variations of metal? Do you mind a band meshing several different genres in order to create a sound, that is unique and definitely one hundred percent metal? Well then Minnesota's Chaos Frame could be for you! This is definitely a disc for someone whose taste covers several genres of metal, so for that reason its best to have an open mind as you read this review.

With Painful Lessons the band starts off slower for the first minute or so, before the song truly kicks in. The band's musicality is definitely on display early on this song. Weaving in and out of intricate melodies for the five and half minute plus song. The title track introduces more of the extreme side of the band, with what could be best described as a black metal like opening, with blastbeat drums that it is hard to believe its a human being do that, but it is. The other parts of the song, switch between a more melodic feel, with Dave Brown's vocals soaring through the mix. A nice mix of guitar arpeggios, with those blastbeats thrown in as well, during the instrumental sections of the song. This song may seem like Chaos Frame has an identity crisis with their music, which I think the band really enjoys(as do I). How many songs do you listen to have blastbeat drums, guitar arpeggios and a chorus with clean guitars? The extreme side gets more extreme with the intro to Derecto, and damn that guitar riff won't get the hell out of my head! Seriously though the death metal vocals come to play on this song as well, and for a few seconds again, sounds like a different band together. Its amazing how the band puts all these different sounds together into their music. Terra Firma continues the heavier driven guitar riffs, and precision drumming of Steve Bergquist. This song has more of a progressive power metal feel to it, while not exactly straight ahead, it is one damn good song, especially the melodic chorus, and Brown reaching the top of his uncanny range.

Paper Sun is another groove infected, shredtastic juggernaut of five and a half minute plus of music. The Giantkiller is here to slay the progressive(regressive as the band calls themselves) monster that is this song. The blueprint of their music is already written in the previous five songs, with all the vocal melody twists, speedy tempos, and guitar leads, yet somehow I return to this song specifically as a favorite of mine. Doomed, has that sort of intro, open yet partly dissonant guitars play, for the first thirty seconds of the song. Between straight ahead riffs and the tremolo picking that follows, it's hard to believe it is the same song that is connected with the intro. At seven minutes and forty five seconds, the closer The World Has Two Faces, is like the songs that come before it, a speedy mix of guitar riffs, tremolo picking, double-bass drumming, but what makes this song memorable, is the chorus much like the one in Terra Firma.

I may be critical of the song structure, but it is actually what makes Chaos Frame who they are. Sporadic changes, which feel improvised yet completely controlled at the same time. For some this may feel disjointed to some, or some may feel the rare use of death vocals does nothing, I think it allows the band to be unpredictable. This may not be a listen for everyone, but if you like listening to top notch musicians, whose ability shines through in actual songwriting and originality, then again Chaos Frame is definitely for you.
Killing Songs :
All 8 actually
Joel quoted 86 / 100
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