Chaos Awaits – Destination: Sanchez (Album Review)

Chaos Awaits - Destination Sanchez album metal band album review

Chaos Awaits – Destination: Sanchez
Released: March 9, 2023


BM Sanchez // Everything



There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. 

There’s also such a thing as biting off more than you can chew.

Chaos Awaits is the brainchild of one man, BM Sanchez, an anime enthusiast from the Gold Coast with a taste for heavy metal and a love of the Japanese metal scene. Sanchez has been chipping away at this project over the last four years and the end result is this debut album, Destination: Sanchez.

It takes some sand to undertake a project of this magnitude on your own. To create a world, fill it with characters, build a storyline, write an album’s worth of music – then performing every vocal and instrumental task on the said album is to be commended. It takes a lot of heart, patience, knowledge and commitment. Then at some point, you’ve got to be able to know when it’s finished and ready for the world. 

Taking on all the work involves a certain level of risk. The upside is there are no creative differences and the vision of what is being created can be clear and singular. If the end result is incredible, the lone artist can be perceived as a genius. The downside is, there’s no one to bounce ideas off. Being in a room with fellow creatives is an environment in which ideas can easily flourish and grow. Additionally, if you’re trying to single-handedly master a whole band’s worth of instruments, it can often result in a musician being a jack of all trades, but a master of none. 

So how did BM Sanchez go? Let’s press play and find out.

‘Demons In The Night’ opens proceedings and it’s immediately clear where Sanchez’s influences lie. With an intro that doesn’t stray too far from ‘The Beast and The Harlot’ by Avenged Sevenfold before inching into a creepy spoken verse done in the same vein as Dave Mustaine telling us that ‘if the war inside my head, won’t take a day off I’ll be dead’. Altogether this song comes together with all the chaotic excellence of Devin Townsend whilst vocally sounding at times like the lads from Alestorm. The guitar solo is straight from the A7X playbook but executed skillfully. ‘Drowning in Bluewater’ kicks off with a Devildriver-styled intro with a couple of beaut pinch harmonics thrown in, before inching into a crunchy era Megadeth-styled riff. Sanchez’s growled vocals are solid but his cleans let him down heaps. He’s either pitchy or his choice of melodic notes are off. This may have been one of those times to get in another singer to work with. Bouncing his growls off of someone else’s cleans could have added a thicker vocal section to this tune. The dual attack solo has 90’s era Megadeth written all over it and is done nicely.

Hymen Thoroughfarewouldn’t be my first choice for a song name, though it wouldn’t be out of place on a Steel Panther album. From the bat, it sounds to me like My Chemical Romance. It’s catchy, like any pop-punk number should be, his cleans are a lot better and on occasion gives it a Tom DeLonge Californian drawl. With the first three songs collectively coming in at over 20 minutes it’s already been a journey with a lot of contradictory yet overlapping styles. Irasshaimase Motherfuckeris a straight-up moshpit mover. Now I don’t know what Irasshaimase is, but I know what a Motherfucker is and I can see a few of them running into each other if this music ever gets played live. There’s a big fight feel to this one. Could see it being used as a wrestler’s entrance music, maybe in Japan, maybe somewhat censored.

‘True Love Never Dies’ is an adventurous twisted ballad, started off with pianos before ripping into another A7X-styled riff fest, before slowing way down into what sounds to me like a pop-punk chorus not too far from sounding like a bloke that reckons aliens exist. The guitar solo is a beaut and has all the trimmings of the intro to ‘Fade To Black’ by Metallica. ‘Canadian Regression’ has a bit of Marilyn Manson fronting a pop-punk band about it. At this point, BM Sanchez has shown a genuine love for a large array of musical styles and the transitions between each are almost seamless and not as confusing as you’d expect. The national anthem’s “Ohhhhhhh Can-a-dahhh” section is catchy. Again though, it’s the clean vocals that fail this song and the occasional “get the fuck out” is, to me, lyrically lazy and unnecessary. 

Musically ‘B.D.K’ is killer. The riffs are chunky, and easy to get behind but having Sanchez singing “Kosta’s got a big dick, I’ve got a small dick” is just, I don’t know, Yuk I guess. Sanchez has got a whole story to tell, involving a cyberpunk antagonist travelling the entire galaxy in a dystopian future and the best this song can muster is to yell about the size of the dick on Kosta. I understand the notion of the hardwired caveman sexual drive being a thing and all the technological innovations in the universe aren’t going to change that but this yelling about dick size doesn’t do it for me. It works for Lonely Island but doesn’t translate well here. ‘Unrectifiable Despondency’ is fucking cool though. The first minute alone is sexy as hell and could be the soundtrack to smoking a dart on a nighttime stroll through a futuristic neon-clad off-world red light district. It captures the mood and aesthetic of the story beautifully and while there are a couple of minor hiccups along the way, vocally this is Sanchez’s best performance yet.

Covering ‘4ever’ by The Veronicas is a great idea and has been dying to get the heavy metal makeover since their appearance at Good Things Festival 2019. If Chaos Awaits ever becomes a live show, the pit will go ballistic for sure, but again, the singing is a bit off and at this point sounds a bit like ok metal karaoke. The cover of Fisherman’s Friends ‘Shanty Man’ on the other hand is a ripper and the cover we didn’t know we needed. Given his Alestorm-sounding voice, this is the perfect song for Chaos Awaits to belt out. It’s every bit a party anthem as anything Andrew W.K. ever produced.

First and foremost, BM Sanchez is a hell of a guitarist. His overlapping dual-attack guitars are reminiscent of Megadeth, Judas Priest and very definitely Avenged Sevenfold. It’s the guitars that are the star of this show and that’s where this lone musician shines the most. 

The songwriting is ambitious and at times impressive. The 8 original tunes are written fairly well. His influences are blatantly apparent though. Sanchez wears his influences like patches on a battle jacket which can be flattering but at some points, it’s way too obvious where he’s drawing his ideas from. Perhaps if he refines his own sound musically instead of trying to sound like his heroes then he stands a great chance of creating something genuinely unique.

Lyrically this could do with more work. Some of it is gold, whereas other parts are childish. If he does a few more drafts, and fleshes out the ideas a bit more, it should add a bit of weight to the content. Probs scrap yelling about another guy’s dick for nearly three minutes.

Vocally this bloke tries a few different styles and never really nails any of them. His growls are probably his best vocals by miles. A hard feat but easily his most consistent. His cleans on the other hand need work. At its very simplest he needs training on how to breathe while singing. Sometimes he sounds gassed and doesn’t have the air to get the notes to where he needs them to be. Plus there is no consistency in his sound. It’s almost like there are five or six different vocal styles that can be done by three singers, all being done by one bloke that can’t make his mind up. All in all, he might just need to spend more time figuring out what each note should be before trying to record them, or get a few more singing lessons up his belt.

The ambition behind Chaos Awaits is to be commended, but the execution needs work. Despite being worked on for four years, it still feels rushed. Destination: Sanchez has the bones of what could be a very cool album. In its current state, it’s a high-quality demo. If worked on more, fleshed out and recorded using stronger singers and maybe a couple of other musicians to bounce ideas off of, this could very well be something that rises to cult status.

Chaos Awaits - Destination Sanchez album metal band album review

Chaos Awaits – Destination: Sanchez tracklisting

  1. Demons In The Night
  2. Drowning In Bluewater
  3. Hymen Thoroughfare
  4. Irasshaimase Motherfucker
  5. True Love Never Dies
  6. Canadian Regression
  7. B.D.K
  8. Unrectifiable Despondency
  9. 4ever (The Veronicas cover)
  10. Shanty Man (Fisherman’s Friends cover)

Score 6.5/10
Destination: Sanchez is out now. Stream it here
Review by Duane James @duanejames666

About duanejames (78 Articles)
Wall of Sound's resident Heavy Metal Bogan. Father. Husband. Professional Tattooer. Untrained Artist. Part time writer. Full time fanboy.