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Chaostar: Anomima

Chaostar is a musical project developed by Christos Antoniou, a musician best known for his work with the Greek metal band Septic Flesh. Developed in the late 1990s, Chaostar has released a handful of albums that have typically garnered quite a bit of praise. For readers and listeners unfamiliar with Chaostar, don't expect to find them playing a gig at the local club anytime soon. Their albums, after all, are mostly made up of compositions better suited for a symphony hall than anyplace else. The reason is because Antoniou has a passion for writing more classically-inspired music. He actually studied musical composition and orchestration at the London College of Music, where he earned not only a BA, but also an MA in composition / orchestration / and concert music. For a time, Antoniou hoped to write a modern operatic treatment of the Greek tragedy Medea, of which only one song has been recorded (it appears on this album). At some point in the future, some of Antoniou's newest work will be presented in the famous Kakoyannis theater in Athens.

The music on this album is heavy on the side of classically-inspired music (a style more commonly referred to these days as concert music). Antoniou's music is operatic at times and seems to mix certain strains of Romanticism with bold and emotive soundtrack-like sounds. Chaostar's Facebook page describes the music as neo classical, by which I think they must mean both a return to classical style and also experiments with it. Some of the music here is decidedly contemporary, playing with modernistic rhythms and meters. At times, the album also sometimes extends into some slightly odd industrial sounding areas. See, for example, the conclusion of "Truth Will Prevail" and the bonus track "Canticles 2." I didn't like these tracks as much as the lush, dream-like, material of most of this album.

For me, the highlights of this album were "MA," "Medea," and parts of "Fair Maiden." The album makes for a fascinating listen even though I didn't enjoy every track individually. One of the biggest highlights is listening to Androniki Skoula's beautiful mezzo-soprano voice (she also wrote all the lyrics).

This album will certainly stretch listener's ears, particularly those who don't find their way into the contemporary concert music section of the music store very often. It's pretty good, but it takes a few listens, so be careful about judging it too quickly.

Track Listing:
1. MA
2. Un pensiero per il destino
3. Sorrow Descending
4. Medea
5. Dilate the Time
6. Les reminiscences extatiques
7. Truth Will Prevail
8. Fair Maiden
9. The Charmer
10. L'idee fixe
11. Misery's King
12. Canticles 2 (Bonus Track)

Added: July 15th 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Score:
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1827
Language: english

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