After a few out-of-genre collaborations with Lume and Catchechism, REZN’s third proper album returns to their signature Electric Wizard meets Elder on Quaaludes style. Chaotic Divine (Off The Record Label) is right in line with its predecessors, for the most part, pairing the sprawling length of 2017’s Let It Burn with the broadened atmospherics and instrumentation of 2018’s Calm Black Water. However, the heightened Ambient and Post Rock influences have resulted in what is easily their most ambitious effort so far.
There’s even more time devoted to tripping out than before, not just in terms of song lengths but also composition. The album cover’s alien desert themeing is perfectly portrayed with desolate barrenness that is frequently beset with an ominous, otherworldly aura. The two ‘Clear’ interludes are the most obvious about this layout with their Ambient textures, but other tracks express it with sufficient variety. ‘Garden Green’ channels OM with its free-flowing bass groove, the ten-minute ‘Mother/Forever Time’ uses a meditative buildup with ritualistic vocals that remind me of High Priestess, and ‘Inner Architecture’ and ‘The Still Center’ blur the psychedelics with a little extra heaviness.
Speaking of heaviness, one can find plenty of bludgeoning riffs and mammoth doom tempos over the course of Chaos Divine.’Emerging’ lives up to its title, starting the album off on an especially fuzzy glacial pace that seems to be climbing from some primordial abyss. ‘The Door Opens’ takes on an almost transcendent quality with an especially burly vocal performance that contrasts the more melodic restraint elsewhere. While the extra instrumentation is rather subtle, the blasts of saxophone and synths on the respective ‘Optic Echo’ and ‘Scarab’ are really cool to hear.
Overall, REZN pushes its already unique approach to Stoner Doom to even greater heights with Chaos Divine. The band does a fantastic job of further fleshing out their non-Metal influences and integrating them smoothly with the heavier riff work. While the hour runtime initially raises concern, the songs are memorable in themselves and the more jammed out segments resolve themselves smoothly while playing into a cohesive whole. Put it alongside the newest albums from Elder, Elephant Tree, and All Them Witches as one of the best journeys to take on a hellish year.
9 / 10