Christian metal band Chaotic Resemblance released their heavily anticipated album Nazarites earlier this month, just days before I caught up with them at Kingdom Come Festival. Their set was packed with songs off the new album, and the audience clearly enjoyed them.
The ten tracks on Nazarites were all written by lead vocalist and bassist Travis McConnell and guitarist Logan Ellis. Each song screams unapologetic scripture, a staple of the band’s music throughout the years. Lyrics throughout the album remain focused on Jesus, with multiple references to Old Testament prophesies (“Passover Prophecy”), his ministry on earth and what the accomplished on the cross (“Hosanna”), the life he has called us to (“Nazarite”) and the things yet to come (“Quick and the Dead”). Chaotic Resemblance has a vigorous passion for not shying away from the overwhelming supernatural power that Jesus has and shares with his followers, which is another consistent theme throughout the album.
The album kicks off with one of the heaviest tracks, “Wrath of the Lamb,” which is Travis’s favorite track. “It’s got everything Chaotic is, all in one song,” he says, listing off the elements of “crazy, irresponsible riffs, slamming drums, a big opening scream, a crazy guitar solo, and jammed-packed with scripture.” It is definitely a strong starting track for the album, setting the tone for the rest of it.
“Wrath of the Lamb” leads into “Driven,” with a catchy opening chorus that can easily get stuck in your head. The song continues deeper into our identity in Christ when Travis sings, “It drives me / Who You are defines me / I am who I am because You loved me first.”
Travis was eager to say the song “Quick and the Dead” is his favorite one to perform live. He and Logan say that their southern roots are definitely present there, and it’s a fun one that makes you want to (as Travis puts it) “swamp stomp.”
This album is drummer James Stolhammer’s first one with Chaotic Resemblance, and the title track “Nazarite” was one of his favorites to come up with the drum part for. “Nazarite” is also one of Logan’s favorites: “It’s got [guitar] squealies, and I love the bridge, which is about not recanting and not compromising.”
Things slow down a bit with the 3 consecutive tracks “Altar,” “Hosanna” and “Fairest Jesus,” with acoustic guitar being brought in and Travis taking a more soulful and worshipful approach while maintaining his consistent scriptural storytelling. The music builds in each, often being at its most powerful peak in the choruses or bridge before softening back down as the songs close.
The album’s final track “Unto the Lamb” is especially noteworthy, as it features guest artist Oz Fox of Stryper. This song was released as a single in late 2020 and won a Grizzly Award for Classic Metal Song of the Year. As the song begins, Travis says in a passionate preacher-like voice, “You and You alone are worthy! There is only one King who sits on the throne! There is only one Lamb who is worthy to open the scroll! Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God!”
Chaotic worked with Josiah Prince and Andrew Stanton on the production of this album, two of the strongest producers in the Christian rock industry. Travis says that they have been friends for a while, so making the album just “furthered that brotherhood,” allowing them to “have fun, goof off, and make music for Jesus” that’s of the highest production quality. James added, “they were really encouraging to me, with this being my first time recording professionally.”