The Swiss Nu Metal band Chaoseum rose to prominence during the pandemic era off their HUGE single ‘Smile Again’. The first thing they have done since then, aside a live album, the bands third studio album has a lot of hype to live up to? How does it fair against Second Life? Let’s take a listen and find out…
A brief organ intro starts off ‘I, Sexy Zombie’ with an eerie feel. A heavy, Korn-ish riff comes in over the top, especially with the faint vocals too. It stays quick and heavy heading into the verse, the growls making it have an almost death metal feel to it. However, when it cleans up and half-times that nu/industrial metal sound comes back, sounding amazing. It all builds into a very catchy, very Korn chorus. The chanted backing vocals are very memorable and will go down a storm live, while CK Smile does a great job at a clean, melodical hook. A short bridge leads to a great little guitar solo. We then get a final catchy chorus to round out an awesome opening track.
Single ‘Unreal’ opens on a great riff, soon exploding into the heaviness just like before. The drums are a real highlight here, Greg Turini working overtime on a fantastic beat or two. All of the vocal melodies throughout the track are infectiously catchy, from the clean verse and chorus to the growled, call-and-response style of the pre. I don’t want to keep comparing Chaoseum to Korn as they do have their own talents and sound, being slightly more metalcore, but the nu-metal titans are definitely the closest band to compare them to. The spoken word in the bridge, especially when the gang vocals are added after the drop, is all awesome. It almost gives off Static X vibes and is another part I’d love to see live. Another great guitar solo and double chorus take us home in style. Another fantastic song and the second already to make the playlist.
The slow build intro for ‘Dance on my Grave’ is awesome, the electro parts working so well with the riff. It has a real bound to it all too, definitely fitting with the song title. It gives off Wednesday 13 and Manson vibes this time too. It’s a catchy track and one that doesn’t take itself all too seriously. Heck, it has the most casual ‘suck my dick’ I think I’ve ever heard put into a song! The track as a whole is a lot of fun and would go down a storm live.
Surprisingly, the title track is a short instrumental interlude. It was tribal and folky and definitely enjoyable, it’s just odd these days for a band not to have a massive single as the title track of the album. It did, however, lead pretty perfectly into the following track, ‘Fly Away’. It’s another heavy track clearly inspired by Korn. However, it’s another massive, arena-filling chorus filled with great main and backing vocal lines. Outside of that chorus it’s another fun nu-metal track, the growls in the bridge also being good.
‘My Wonderland’ opens on a very Slipknot riff, especially with the laugh and scream over the top. It’s a balls to the wall track that barely lets up at all, though still has plenty of catchy hooks and melodies from the vocals. It is a fantastic track and was definitely a good choice to be a single, as it highlights everything Chaoseum is about while also being radio-friendly and amazing in its won right. It’s made our playlist!
‘Welcome Home’ ‘Until the End’ and ‘Sanctum Cinerem’ were a little slower than the other tracks on the album, especially the middle track. It was a nice change of pace and definitely helped me stay interested in the album which, until this point, had all been rather similar. In fact, ‘Until the End’ is one of my favourite tracks on the album and makes our playlist. It’s a slower, dark, doomy track, and is really awesome. Plus, the guitar solo was amazing!
Finally, closing track ‘What If’, opens on an album Slim Shady/Slipknot’s ‘Custer’ style voice recording. Said voice recording from CK does lay the grounds for a phat riff, though. We also get some cool Linkin Park style electronic bits throughout, especially in the verses, which added a great new layer to their sound. However, it was unfortunately a song that felt a bit like an album track. It was good, but didn’t feel as huge and catchy as a lot of the others. Still, it’s a fun, impactful way too close a good album!
Overall: This was great. I’m a sucker for that nu/industrial metal sound, having grown up in that time period, and Chaoseum do a fantastic job of modernising it here. They’re bringing the early 2000s sound to a whole new audience, and doing so through awesome songwriting and musicianship. It’s an album I’ll be listening to a lot in the coming months, as there is not a bad track on it!
The Score: 8.5/10