Organized chaos: a complex situation or process that appears chaotic while having enough order to achieve progress or goals.
Normally I wouldn’t start a review with a definition, but I feel like Serbia’s Organized Chaos is aptly named. Their music feels reckless and feral and without barriers, but there is a noticeable method to the madness. Their latest album, Divulgence, features a highly skilled group of musicians- the core group features Bojan Kvočka on bass, Benjamin Lechuga on guitar, David Maxim Micić on keyboard/guitar, Milan “YEQY” Jejina on drums, and Vladimir Lalić on lead vocals, but the album also features some stellar work by guitar wizards Richard Henshall (Haken) and Nick Johnston, among other terrific guest musicians.
It didn’t take me very long to realize that Organized Chaos’s new album, Divulgence, was something special. The opening track, “Apex”, was the introduction to a band and a sound that sounded fresh and interesting and unique. The song is a preview of what’s to come- it starts out quietly and beautifully, only to descend into huge, crunchy chords with backing choirs (i.e. utter madness) by the end. If they aren’t fans of Devin Townsend’s music, I would be surprised.
“Cinnamon” is one of the more straightforward tracks on the album. The standout performer on this track is singer Vladimir Lilic. Equal parts Jeff Buckley, Devin Townsend, and Daniel Gildenlow, Vladimir screams, whispers, and croons, sometimes within a few measures. This sort of vocal versatility is a skill that is rare among vocalists, and thrilling to hear. It’s a terrific performance that must be heard to be believed. I liked this track when I first heard it, but at this point, I’ve listened to it countless times, and the appeal grows with each listen. It’s melodic and heavy and wild and all of the things I love about progressive metal as a genre.
Another one of my favorite tracks is “Broken Divine”. This track features what sounds like Tuvan throat singing, spoken word, heavy riffage, and some incredible guitar work from Benjamin Lechuga and Haken’s Richard Henshall. The album closes with “The Mask”, which vocal performance wise, is very Mike Patton-esque at times, especially as Vladimir descends into nonsense syllables and hysterical laughing, only to follow up with soft falsetto to a jazzy backdrop. This track also features gorgeous female vocals from Branislava Podrumac, whose lovely tone balances well with with Vladimir’s voice.
When I first heard Pain of Salvation’s album Entropia in the late 90s, I was blown away by their intensity and adventurous spirit. I loved how they could quickly jump from power metal to crunchy thrash to free-form jazz within the song. It’s been a while since I’ve heard that in a band, and I feel that way about Organized Chaos. Their sound is a powerful mix of styles and influences that feels equally planned and reckless, much like the concept by which the band is named. If you are a fan of boundary pushing progressive metal, give this band a listen. And mark my words- this is a band to keep an eye on. After a powerful performance at ProgPower, I see very good things in their future.
Organized Chaos’s latest album, Divulgence, was released on December 7, 2017. Check out their Bandcamp and buy their album here.
As a bonus, here is some exclusive video footage from their ProgPower Europe performance. Seeing them live makes me really hope that they can some day make it to the states. Enjoy!