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Natural Born Chaos
June 2002
Released: 2002, Nuclear Blast
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: JP

It’s not often you see butterflies on the cover of a metal CD let alone one this intense! The buzz and hype about this CD are pretty accurate; this is one damn, kick-ass CD. For me this is a bit of a comeback because after CHAINHEART making my Top 10 for 2000, PREDATORS, left me feeling a little disappointed. The band has made similar comments and enlisted Devin Townsend (SYL) to work with the band. A great move!

The debate rages between the traditional, original fans who suggest the band has injected too much melody into their latest disc. I fully understand that position. It would be hard pressed to even call this death metal anymore or even death thrash. The vocal lines and melodies are sooo catchy there really are “just” a thrash band in my mind now. However, that doesn’t bother me at all. The whole look and feel of the band is somewhat lighter, in terms of lyrics, packaging and presentation. I do miss the 80’s retro lyrics like those found on CHAINHEART. Don’t get me wrong this is STILL a killer heavy disc but in comparison to their previous works it is much lighter and happier!

The lead off cut shreds as we expect it to but it is not really until track four, the title track, is where Devon’s genius shines through. The title track is so catchy and melodic and has tiny hints of his ambient, Ocean Machine vibe. The drumming is not quite as frantic and Strid’s vocal performance is his best to date. This is their most sophisticated and well-rounded disc to date. It will very difficult to top. Again this is a strong contender for my Top 10 of the year.

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