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Kaos
Vision Beyond
January 2001
Released: 2000, Independant
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson

Straight from the San Francisco Bay Area comes Kaos with their new album Vision Beyond. I had never heard of this band before, but after hearing a song off their web site, I was eager to hear more. For what I heard was something new and different to my ears. And after hearing the entire album, I really tried to think of other bands to relate Kaos to, but I simply cannot. But this isn’t to say Kaos sounds original. Instead they have their own identity by their sound and certain way of playing metal. And after embellishing myself with loads of extreme death metal the past several months, Kaos’ straightforward heavy attack with clean vocals comes as a breath of fresh air. I got the impression while listening to Vision Beyond that Kaos may have been a late ‘80s/early ‘90s thrash band, now looking for a new avenue to explore. Revisiting their web site affirmed this, as the main page indicates just that. And a thrash element definitely exists in the guitar department with a killer, heavy-ass, punishing guitar sound. But combined with the bass guitar, drumming, and vocals, the overall album has more feel and groove than a typical Bay Area thrash album. In fact the rhythm section is as solid as you could ask for. The drumming is well-rounded, with intricacies thrown in for that added twist, which I always appreciate. And the bass playing can actually be heard at times, which is good because it’s impressive. I especially admire the slapping and Mordred-type funk/grooves that occasionally appear. The only thing that took some adjusting to is the vocals. Jason Darnell has a unique voice, and I truly admire the variation, patterns, and arrangements he comes up with. However I do think he needs some time to refine his actual ability to sing. Plus, the rapping-type vocals (which are thankfully seldom) have to go. And his performance on “Vivisection 2000” is plain bad. Aside from these nuances, he does a damn notable job! And overall, after reveling in death metal since the onset of autumn last year, it’s nice to hear a new band with clean vocals that isn’t power metal. I tend to think of ManmadeGod (ex-Forbidden) and Swarm/Organization (ex-Death Angel) when listening to Kaos, not because of musical similarities, but because of the principle…the fact that the band these bands, as well as Kaos, have chosen to concentrate on writing catchy riffs and melodies, and with lots of feel…simply meaning: good songs. While busting out some classic thrash tunes would be pointless, so long as Kaos retains that element of heaviness they will fair well within the realms of metal! Check out their web site at http://www.kaosamongus.com and bang thy head!
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