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Released: 2015, Frontiers Records
Timo Tolkki is one busy guy; writing and releasing albums at a heroic rate since his departure from Stratovarius. Some have been excellent (IN PARADISUM), but some...less so. I mean, just look at the disparity in quality between his two Avalon albums! The first one is incredible, the second one a letdown. However, one of the bright spots of that second album was relative unknown Caterina Nix’s vocals. Apparently I wasn’t the only one that was impressed by the Chilean beauty’s voice as this band, Chaos Magic, was created as an outlet for Tolkki and Nix to work together and explore additional musical ideas.
At heart, CHAOS MAGIC is a Timo Tolkki album through and through. You can close your eyes and hear the trademark Tolkki sound that he’s been exploring for the last decade or so. Within that though, there is a bit of variation in that he’s added a more gothic metal influence to the songs that typically isn’t there, giving CHAOS MAGIC some individuality apart from Tolkki’s other projects. It’s a bit generic, but still enjoyable for all that.
Let’s face it though, despite Tolkki’s involvement, Chaos Magic was created as a vehicle to highlight Caterina Nix. She commands every song with a strong soprano, whether it’s a heavier song like “One Drop of Blood” or an orchestrated ballad like “Please Don’t Tell Me” (she really shines on this one). It certainly proves that Nix is a talent to be reckoned with.
Summing it up, CHAOS MAGIC is a bit of a mixed bag. It’s definitely a Timo Tolkki album, with all of the good and bad that comes with, but it is an unqualified success at introducing Nix’s talents to a wider audience and for that alone, is worth checking out. Tolkki fans will enjoy it as well. Hopefully Chaos Magic isn’t a one-off project as it could be a great vehicle to allow these two to explore different musical paths in the future.
1. I’m Alive
2. Dangerous Game
3. One Drop of Blood
5. From the Stars
6. A Little Too Late
8. Dead Memories
9. Please Don’t Tell Me
10. Right Now
11. The Point of No Return
Caterina Nix: Vocals
Timo Tolkki: Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
Jami Huovinen: Drums
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