Chaos Through Clarity


No matter how "open" any of us are to music in general, I think it's […]
By Andrew Sifari
September 30, 2016
Surfacing - Chaos Through Clarity album cover

No matter how "open" any of us are to music in general, I think it's safe to say that we all have at least one style/kind of music we will always enjoy talking trash on. It's about as essentially human as breathing, best as I can tell. That being said, what I enjoy even more is when I'm wrong about bands I have initial reservations about. It's a win-win, really, since it helps break down such prejudicial barriers, but also because it means the music is probably good to boot.

This isn't to say that I had any reason to doubt the musical quality of the new album by New York City's SURFACING before hearing them; I just know what I like, and generally, a lot of stuff labeled as "Metalcore" doesn't really fit the bill. Thankfully, "Chaos Through Clarity" ticks off enough of the boxes that make heavy music great that simply skipping over it due to genre labels would really be, as the kids say, "your bad."

The influence of genre mainstays like the ever-popular KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and TRIVIUM are apparent, but "Chaos" makes its mark as a distinct album by never losing its strong songwriting focus. SURFACING alternates between moments of crushing, agonizing anger and more melodic, soulful lines that reinforce these sentiments rather than trying to contrast them with the angst and borderline-whiney (okay, flat-out whiney) complaints and grievances that one might hear over the loudspeakers of their local skateboard shop these days.

Opening track "Thank You For The Inspiration" took some time to grow on me personally, but the rich variety of sounds keeps the listener guessing as to where they're going next, going from breakdowns to INTO ETERNITY-like choruses before going into a game of "Top THIS" as each succeeding riff sequence seems to try and out speed the last. You can really hear the earnestness and sincerity in each note of songs like the furious "Turned To Ink" and "Through The Depths," which incredibly sounds even more furious yet also pensive at the same time. Brian Wenzler and Joe D's sharp, precise riffs cut deep, while drummer Tony Gabriel puts on a veritable double-bass clinic, his technical yet fluid style shining on songs like "Pitch Black" whose instrumental might is a force to be reckoned with. Elsewhere, darker offerings like "Begin To Decay" challenge the limits of what even counts as Metalcore with its unrelenting malice, even with the inclusion of clean vocals.

"Chaos Through Clarity" stands out amongst its peers as an album that succeeds within its own genre as well as without, its well-written and challenging songs providing plenty for fans of Metalcore as well as Extreme Metal in general to enjoy. Equal parts thrashy, brutal, and thoughtful, the New York outfit's debut album is a winner all around.

8 / 10









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"Chaos Through Clarity" Track-listing:

1. Thank You For The Inspiration
2. Amongst Giants
3. Turned To Ink
4. Through The Depths
5. Pitch Black
6. Smother The Symphony
7. Circles
8. The Demons Of Attica
9. Begin To Decay
10. In The Wake Of Armageddon
11. Chaos Through Clarity

Surfacing Lineup:

Joe D - Guitar
Ryan Mayorga - Vocals
Adam Magosa - Bass
Brian Wenzler - Guitar
Tony Gabriel - Drums

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