India has been somewhat an unknown hotbed of metal in recent years, with the likes of Skyharbor gaining more global recognition, it was only a matter of time before other bands follow suit. Hailing from Kerala in the south of the country, Chaos have jumped on the bandwagon of this thrash revival we’ve been seeing of late, and gained quite the cult following in their native sub-continent on the back of it, even going as far as winning awards for their efforts.
This re-release promised to be a white knuckle ride straight back to 1988, bullet belts are entirely optional.
Straight off the bat, it’s pretty clear to see that Chaos justify their cult status in India. After the ‘Ungodly Hour’ intro, you’re greeted by ‘Torn’, a song which by and large,belongs back in the Bay area glory days. In not having any modern influence their music, there’s a certain purity to it, that’s as if someone made a time capsule of the early days, but without the poor production values. That’s far from the case with Violent Redemption, as it’s produced by none other than Keshav Dhar of Skyharbor fame. For those of you who are aware, you’ll know that this album was in more than capable hands.
‘Game’ however, is where the band really steps up their, well, game. Guitarist, Nikhil, takes on the form of a Megazord from the hit 90’s show Power Rangers, but in the place of dinosaurs, it has the legs of Gary Holt, the arms of Dimebag,and the face of Scott Ian, you get the idea. Imagine if Tom Araya and Paul Baloff where fighting over custody of their child on Jeremy Kyle, well, imagine the voice of said child, because that’s pretty close to who JK (singer) would sound. His style is the teeth to this snarling monster, a monster which is merciless in its attack.
Throughout the 11 songs, there are solos which will melt your face like that guy from Robocop (you know the one), riffs which are like taking multiple roundhouses from the tandem of Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris, and they just keep coming. Wave after wave hitting your face like shards of glass, but if I have one gripe, then its perhaps some of the songs do tend to get slightly samey. I’m not saying it’s bad,but a few minor tweaks here and there, then perhaps that could make them stand out in a sea of obscurity, and go from being really good, to something that perhaps could join the likes of Municipal Waste, and Toxic Holocaust in the elite of this massive thrash revival.
Violent Redemption is an album where the good far outweighs the bad,and goes to show that with bands of Chaos’ potential, then things are looking rosy for the future of thrash. Here you have a band, that leads to the question, if they were from Europe or The States, then would their popularity be a lot more widespread than it already is? Perhaps, they’ve got the ability to do so, but with the geographical situation being what it is, then the spoils of being in the upper echelons will have to be put on hold. They’ll get there though, maybe not today or tomorrow, but some day.
Chaos are really onto a winner in their native India, it’ll be interesting to see whether they can translate that success on a more international stage. There’s no reason saying they can’t, as the tools are there, it’s up to them to use said tools to prick the ears of their western counterparts, and prove to the world that Indian metal is a force to be reckoned with, and not just a fad.