"Invention, it must be humbly admitted," as Mary Shelley humbly admitted in her introduction to her 1818 novel Frankenstein, "does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos." Not out of void, but out of Tokyo, Sundays & Cybele have created Chaos & Systems, the monstrously overwhelming new album that could well serve as the band's mission statement. After (loudly) announcing their intentions on 2015's ear-popping Heaven, the initial impression of Chaos & Systems leads one to believe that the systems have dominion over the chaos.
The introductory title track begins the album as a piece of post-motorik perfection, so subtle and symmetrical as to sound wound by master clockmakers. But Sundays & Cybele, like all good lysergic psychedelicists, exist largely outside of the boundaries of time, and it doesn't take long before the chaos rises, an amplified antidote to what the systems dare build. In the hands of Sundays & Cybele, the chaos is no threat, but rather an essential counterpart to the band's massive sonic structures. One without the other could be dull and unsatisfying; throughout Chaos & Systems, Sundays & Cybele reject being defined by either.
By the time the vocal cocoon breaks and the band flies unrestrained into the nearly ten-minute time-warp of "Butterfly's Dream," it's clear that the band's creation is moving and breathing on its own terms. Threatening? Only in the way that the song toys with being built almost completely on a single string-bending blast, a clarion call from a crypto-"Caravanserai"-esque creature – yet one that contains seemingly endless dimensions of decibels and depth. Enlightening? Only in the way that Sundays & Cybele can be.
"Tell Me the Name of that Flower" presents itself as more of a regal request than a dogmatic demand, further evidence of an album in full bloom, here with an almost demented-Donovan appeal to the interplay of chaos (the never-too-far away electric guitar incantations) and systems (perfectly perfumed pastoral psych from Japan, anyone?). "Brujo" is the upbeat amuse-bouche of the album, enchanting in its echoing insistence, while serving as a worthy prelude to the album's closing argument, "Paradise Come," thirteen-minutes plus of poetically arranged acid-rock that threatens to leave listeners breathless, headbands drenched in sweat, murmuring, "Milton never sounded quite like this."
Chaos & Systems offers not a choice, but a declaration: you can't have one without the other. Endowed with both, the cosmic creature created by Sundays & Cybele has come to life.