Kaos - Kaos Among Us
Self released
Thrashy Hardcore
10 songs (40:37)
Release year: 2003
Reviewed by Jason

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that as time goes by it feels as if the metal and the hardcore scenes are slowly infusing into one another. I’d even go as far as saying that it’s becoming confusing to categorize a metal band with hardcore influences or vice versa. Unearth say they’re hardcore, Lamb of God say they’re metal and others say they’re something in between. Whether I believe this a good or bad thing, I’ll leave for another time, but for the time being I’ll begin reviewing the album that made me pose myself this question.

Kaos is a Bay Area, Californian band combining various thrash aspects together with heavy riffs and pounding snares that are synonymous with the hardcore genre. They are also another band replacing the letter C in front of their name with a K… Kaos, Kamelot, Kataklysm, Kreator, King Kobra…. What the hell is going =). If Slayer were ever to make a hardcore album, it would definitely sound something like this.

Kaos Among Us is the follow-up to their first release Vision Beyond, and the second time the band goes solo and produces an album without a record label. For a self released album, I have to say that I am quite impressed with the decent production, but even though this is a credible feat, it won’t stop me from expressing my dismay for the various weak aspects of this album.

The album starts off with Paralyzed by fear which is a great headbanger complete with ferociously heavy guitars and hammering drums. Though the song does get somewhat repetitive after the chorus is sung for the fourth time, it is still one of the best tracks on the album as the instruments always change pace, making this one listenable. The next track, Kaos Among Us, is the most Slayer-like on the album and introduces you to Jason Darnells nasal moans which I believe are a cover for his difficulty to growl in low tones. After virtually every verse, Darnell finishes his lyrics by emitting this high pitch “WAHHH!!”, which would sound appropriate if it weren’t used over 5 times in each song. The Vocals are what really turn me off about Kaos, which is unfortunate as the rest of band is relatively solid and capable of changing up beats with relative ease. When it comes to the singing, Darnell seems to struggle and really brings the rest of the band down.

A slow paced song which features a tad of clean vocals would be God as my Witness, numbering at #8 on the album. The song begins with eerie guitars that share relation with something Opeth would write, and slowly progresses into Darnell chanting in clear vocals. At this point I said to myself: “Hey, if this is played right, this song could turn out to be pretty good”, but unfortunately Darnell began to shriek and moan (with his infamous “WAHH”) over the eeriness which I believe takes away from the overall effect. Nonetheless, this is still one of the better tracks on the album.

There appears to be some good potential for Kaos, as they manage to pull off their thrashy hardcore quite well, but I can be rest assured that the vocals do not compare to some of the big names in this genre. Killswitch Engage, and Heaven Shall Burn are perfect examples of vocalists who possess such aggressive and explosive voices that they can blow off your clothes and make Kaos look like a joke.

Do I consider this a good purchase? Well, if you’re curious to hear what an amalgamation of Slayer and Hardcore sounds like, then sure. If not, save that $20 or so, and buy some RRSP’s.

Killing Songs :
Paralyzed by Fear, God as my Witness, Kaos Among Us
Jason quoted 69 / 100
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