Posted by & filed under Music, Reviews.


Chaostar - Anonima[10th May 2013]
[Season of Mist]

01. 間 (MA)
02. Un pensiero per il destino
03. Sorrow Descending
04. Medea
05. Dilate the Time
06. Les réminiscences extatiques
07. Truth Will Prevail
08. Όμορφη κόρη (Fair Maiden)
09. The Charmer
10. L’idée fixe
11. Misery’s King

Chaostar are a neoclassical darkwave ambient band from Greece, formed by members of the acclaimed death metal band Speticflesh, and released three studio albums between 1998 to 2004. After a brief hiatus from 2004 to 2008, they are back in 2013 with their fourth album, titled Anomima, an eclectic fusion of dark ambient/neo-classical with various other disparate styles of music, including jazz, Greek folk, and electronic.

At first, this album seems like it might be a fairly straightforward dark ambient sort of release, with some odd Greek instrumentation throw in, but as it progresses, it shows a wide variety of sounds and influences from opera, to jazz, to electronic. The problem is that it doesn’t always sound so coherent. The parts that are more operatic and neoclassical are excellent, showing a wonderful command of dynamics and tension, building up to a big climax. In many parts, the album could almost work as a film score; it has the right sound and emotion. However, there are parts that just do not work whatsoever.

The song “Medea” goes towards free jazz territory, and is actually quite spellbinding, adding to the overall idea of madness that is being represented, but other elements used, such as dubstep and swing jazz, do not work so well, and just sound weirdly out of place. The song “Truth Will Prevail” does this, where it builds up into a tense dramatic operatic climax, and then comes down into a rather silly sounding dubstep break for about 30 seconds at the end of the song, completely ruining the effort spent building the climax. Then there is the song “Fair Maiden” leading into “The Charmer” which starts off sounding like a more serious folk-type song, but then shows that it is actually a swing jazz song in disguise.

The album does do well in flowing between songs: there is little to no break, and most songs just seem to become the next one without any jarring transition, so the listener is constantly immersed in the album without any real break to surface away from the music. There are a few places where breaks occur, but there is still little time between the songs. This can work against the album when the listener isn’t given time to digest the song that just finished before being thrust into the next one, which is especially important on a more complex and varied album such this one, and it can make the album feel longer than necessary.

In the end, though there are some good ideas on Anomima, it is too scattered musically and tries to do too many things for its own good. The operatic and classical parts sound pretty good in general, but the times when something else is thrown in tend to fall flat. The album also tends to feel like it drags due to the way the songs are put together, slow build-ups and little breaks between songs. Not really recommended for anyone unless one is really into a more soundtrack type release with a lot of conflicting styles of music thrown into it.


Orsaeth writer banner