Tucson is home to a wide variety of musicians, but no other band seems to offer a brand of metal quite as unique or extreme as Chaos Ascending. Rooted in the subgenre of Norwegian Black Metal, Tucson natives Chaos Ascending bring a chilling musical style to the table. They follow in the footsteps of pioneering acts Mayhem and Emperor, but with an added American twist. The group has taken everything into consideration, not a detail left unnoticed, which has resulted in an impressive musical performance which fully utilizes their stage presence. Every time the band approaches the stage, it's like they're going to war, and the war paint and wardrobe worn by the group only adds to the dynamic of the music. This was shown Friday evening, as the group of six approached the stage in response to the awaiting crowd.
The band took the stage immediately preceding the keyboard intro orchestrated by Shaun Spettigue. The melodic sound of the keys added a certain ambience to the stage that only fueled the anticipating crowd leading into the first song "Disdain for Mankind." Before long, the band had already made its presence felt by the piercing screams of energetic and charismatic front man Austin Kruger, who fully embraced the image and tone of the band. The group continued on, ripping through "The Unhallowed Crusade" and "The Rise Ov Imminent Chaos" without missing a beat, before closing with "Wolf Spawned Empire" and "The Rebirth". The set was brief, but what the band lost in time it made up for with intensity and precision. Supporting cast Ryan Ocvirek and Gabe Garcia played their positions well, complimenting the speed of Dave Schuppert on drums, the heartbeat of the band. The crowd also welcomed bassist Josh Bowyer, who played a respectable first performance with the band. Their four song EP is has just been released, and can be purchased for five dollars from the band directly.
Chaos also received their fair share of support from Tempe's Hemoptysis and other local acts Solace in Nothing and Evasion who both drew respectable audiences. Solace in Nothing, who recently had a cd release concert of their own at the Rialto Theatre last October, only continues to improve with each show. Coming fresh off playing a few gigs in Hollywood, Solace was ready to perform and shocked the crowd with an outrageous display of energy and power. Lead vocalist Marcos and drummer Mark build the cornerstones of the band, but bassist Neko built off of that energy and used it to get right into the crowd, making it more personal and just as heavy. Guitarist "Chico" also appeared comfortable and confident in his role on the guitar, and has fully solidified his place in the band with his performance.
Infernal Awakening also received a slot on the bill in a last minute decision but volume level adjustment problems hindered the performance for the audience. The performance was very hard to distinguish, but the band put on a strong stage show, backed again by the energy of Austin Krueger (see Chaos Ascending) who lifted the band to its heels despite audio issues. The powerful drumming of Jason Mclean helped the group rise to the occasion as well. The event was also a milestone for folk metal band Aamukaste, who played their first official show gracing the audience with the presence of a flute and keyboard that created a very unique musical experience. The performance was mediocre at best due to the bugs associated with a first show, but be looking for more from this band as they look to be a very promising local band for the future.