The upstart Raleigh metal quartet Chaosmic have teased the release of their debut album, Sunborn, for months. "We're super excited about the mastered versions," they wrote on Facebook in March. "So excited that we wanted to share a new song." Previewing an album with a single is elementary music publicity, of course, but the consistent earnestness of Chaosmic's tone is especially endearing. Everyone in this band is a veteran of at least one loud area act—Bedowyn, Elom, Blackwood Haze, Ungrained. Their excitement for this new venture, though, threads throughout the promising Sunborn like they're kids.
The eight-track debut flirts with metal's extremes but maintains a melodic center. The dynamic voice of frontman Aulden Smith moves between harsh growls and clean singing. On "Communion," he leads the way between death-metal barrage and blues-rock swing. With a knack for fusing prog exuberance and metal force, guitarist Jim Cox provides a nimble counterpoint. Marc Campbell and bassist Adam Cohen offer a steady foundation beneath these shifting sounds.
The enthusiasm becomes clear through the abundance of ideas they harness and manage. It guides the switch between emotive, mid-tempo hard rock and scorched death metal during "Spoils of Pyrrhus." It drives the Baroness-worshipping intro to "Desert Grave." Whether bounding joyfully between styles or nodding to their influences (a cavalcade of heavy, accessible acts that balance mainstream appeal and metal bona fides, like Mastodon and Deftones), Chaosmic move with the verve of a new band. The feeling is infectious.
Given the members' lengthy résumés, Chaosmic also play with proficiency. But the thrills of Sunborn are less a result of experience and ability and more the product of powerful chemistry among four players, powered by the prospect of what's to come.
This article appeared in print with the headline "Age of enthusiasms."