Over the years, thrash metal has had quite a mixed bag of a journey, sometimes mostly deviating from the core of thrash metal itself to a more mass appealing sound even if hovering around in the metal boundaries. Some bands have changed the sound “to break the monotony” or in the name of “experimentation” so much that thrash metal kind of gets a bad rep once in a while especially these days. While this may excite some fans to the new sound approach, it may also lead the old school thrash lovers to much dismay, to an extent where some fans have questioned the genre’s long term existence. But as they as say “the grass is greener on the other side”, likewise there are a plethora of bands that don’t really compromise on their thrash sound. As thrash as it can be, they know how to deliver it. They couldn’t care less how mainstream the band next door allures itself or your fans into. All they know is to deliver thrash ever so gritty, fueled with anger and velocity. Such bands make sure you get what you want every time they deliver a single or one hell of a juggernaut of an album.
Here’s introducing to you a band that holds the thrash flag high up and rightfully does justice to its name. Presenting to you from India, Chaos. Hailing from the backwaters of Trivandrum, Kerala, these four men coalesced together back in 2004 and started moshing things up ever since. They have released two albums till date and are completely adamant to take you in a whirlwind of epic carnage. So, Chaos will be following up their debut release, ‘Violent Redemption‘ of 2013, with their second studio album, ‘All Against All‘ on June 15, 2017 via Transcending Obscurity Records. This album honestly sounds so good already, really. The production has been done by Keshav Dhar(Skyharbor) and has been on point, it sounds crisp and crystal clear. Also, the beautiful artwork you see right above is the brainchild of immensely talented Reuben Bhattacharya of Visual Amnesia, this guy never fails to leave you awestruck with his artworks of such immaculate grandeur.
As with many metal bands you might have perceived over a period of time that they like to kick start their album with the opening song sounding a bit mellow or some sort of an intro that tends to build up the adrenaline in you, and the thought of what to expect mysteriously lingers on you during the intro. But, hell no, not here. Tighten your balls, cause Chaos takes no shit and gets down to business straight away. The opening track, ‘The Great Divide‘ shoots itself right off its hook into a frenetic frenzy, torpedo-ing into your eardrums getting as thrashy as it could get. With relentless drumming and riffing ever fast it almost gives you a crossover thrash vibe. The solo is wild and it is just one of the best openers for a thrash album, I’d say. Excellent way to start the proceedings off.
The next track which caught my attention is the title track, ‘All Against All‘. Honestly this band has no time for your mellow bullshit, just as the opening song it just shoots itself across into a fit of aggression. JK’s vocals have an uncanny resemblance to Mark Osegueda’s, from the legendary Bay Area thrashers Death Angel and it is evident that Chaos derives and gets inspiration from such legendary acts. You can really feel the anger and the message it tries to convey in the song with vocals of that order. The official video(down below) for this track is one of the best ever videos shot compared to the other Indian metal counterparts, the blend of aggression and grit is clearly shown. With over the top slow-mo takes and pin point precision direction the video is surely one hell of a thing to watch. The guitar solo again has been on fleek. The song talks about the failure of mankind and our failure as a species to look beyond stupid social constructs such as skin color, race etc., and how our existence has turned against ourselves, inevitably leading to destruction, as described best by the following snippet of the song lyric,
“Discrimination and segregation
A separation within the nation
Between us all, this hateful wall
Together we fall when it’s all against all”
The last track I want to throw some limelight before I round the review up is the sixth track, ‘The Enemy‘. The string work on this piece if pretty amazing and just how I like it, groovy! As good as the average feel of the track is, there is one thing I wish could have been done more better, it is the guitar solo, I personally think it couldn’t impress me much, but, as I said the groove on this song is so well done you wouldn’t be bothered about the solo to crib about all day long.
So, what does this album give you ? Well, a lot. It offers you relentlessly fast and angry thrash metal throughout the entire album. Trust me, you won’t ever run out of adrenaline on this one. The bass work can be clearly heard, it might feel a bit empty when the lead solo is on as their is no rhythm guitars to fill in the void but that is clearly handled by the bass. It is just so soothing to hear those thick strings do the magic and contrast it well with the lead solo. While it may be an album of rapid riffage, unforgiving at all times, I’d also like to add that at some point it sort of adds a monotony to the album, with some songs sounding alike. But, for a band this new and young they have put out an excellent record and it clearly trumps all the flaws in this album. With straight and fast songs like ‘All Against All‘ to the groovy but yet thrash enough ‘The Enemy‘ and the excellent contrast of heaviness, atmosphere and clean section the closing track ‘The Escape‘, portrays, this album by Chaos is definitely one the best albums an Indian thrash metal act has put out. Along with thrash veterans in the Indian scene like Kryptos, Scpetre and newbies like Armament and Carnage Inc, with this installment Chaos definitely fits in their rank and the Indian thrash flag isn’t coming down anytime soon.
Chaos comprises of,
JK – Vocals
Nikhil Wartooth – Guitar
Vishnu – Bass
Manu Krishnan – Drums
Pre-order your album here.