Amidst all the innovation music is beginning to see and accommodate, there are moments when the puritan in one craves the basics of good old fashioned heavy metal. Chaos, the heavy metal ensemble from Kerala, delivers exactly that in their release Violent Redemption.
Despite their relative youth, Chaos is no newcomer to the Indian metal scene. Their single Game attracted some serious global attention, so much so that they became the only Indian band to be featured on the international compilation album released by the popular online music magazine Metallity. The men behind Chaos: Jayakrishnan S (vocals), Nikhil N R (guitars), Vishnu Rajendranath (bass) and Rohit L T (drums) have focused through both lyrics and music on the theme of corruption, conflict and the divisive power of communal ideals. JKs voice is a perfect expression of helpless despair and anger at the turbulence we are all too familiar with.
Their dedication to the purity of metal has been made apparent in this newest venture. The songs on the album are wild and the energy of every riff and growl is astounding, reminiscent of the beginning of the very genre of metal. There is nothing chaotic about the composition, for the tracks blaze with nuance and precision. Every beat and tone complements the other and serves only to highlight them, until they combine to produce some serious motivation for headbanging.
The bands emphasis on fundamentals shines through in the vicious tempo and proportioned exuberance of the songs. Influences of the gods (Slayer, Pantera, Megadeth, Metallica and Anthrax) come through in the tightly crafted riffs that come off as wonders of abstract structuring. Every song incorporates these aspects, but Heavens Gate, War Crime and Backlash seem to be specific points of excellence. Ungodly Hour matches some of the best album preludes in recent history.
Violent Redemption has enticed listeners into high praise, including accolades from most notable metal magazines and musical forums, and yet it cannot be denied that their puritan loyalties do manage to alienate a certain section of the metal community that might expect more in the way of New Age influences. The album art seems a bit derivative and recycled, and seems to be a little too straightforward in proclaiming the albums intent. Granted, the band shows little desire to cater to alternate tastes and they do bring back memories of the good old times when brutality was uninhibited in ways of a more guttural outburst. Lets just say that these guys are not among those that believe in excessive ornamentation. Their music, in its prowess and honesty, attains an authenticity of both context and content.