Chaos Synopsis' debut album 'Kvlt ov Dementia' from 2009 was a real ear-bleeder mixing thrash and death metal into one tearing and crushing force. Talk about enthusiasm and balls-to-the-wall attitude! The follower 'Art of Killing' saw the light of the day at the beginning of this year.
The band continue with similar ingredients, alloying thrash and death metal, but present something new, too. Brazilian thrash metal (Sepultura foremost, but also Overdose) meeting some European branches, as well as some US ones. It is about tight and sharp riffs, pounding beats and torturous vocals. Death metal aspect is lesser than on the debut album, let's say about one-fifth to thrash metal. Anyways, death metal influence is somewhere on Vader / Hypnos (Czech one) axis. There are some looser moments towards the end of the album, when the slide guitar is presented. However, the title track, an instrumental one, throws some neo-classical acoustic guitar work into the soup. Plus good ol' heavy metal.
The songs aren't at all so easily deciphered. They often contain quite many parts, twists and tempo changes. That is why this demands more attention than any average thrash/death metal album, and probably does not strike immediately. One thing that was clear right from the start was that there are not many killer riffs included. Some of the riffs are pretty inferior at worst, damaging some of the songs and rendering them into forgettable savagery. No matter how much energy the band itself emits, forgettable music is nothing else but forgettable. Another thing is that the riffing is faceless, unoriginal. Guitar solos offer delightful scintillation to insipid songs, and boost the better songs futher upwards. The title track is a fine example about how to compose an instrumental song, that is memorable and surprising, too.
One of the first things that struck me was the cleaner production job when comparing this to the debut album. Every instrument and the vocals are easy to sort out from the soundscape, but still this sounds tight. Plus heavy. My only gripe is, again, how the drums sound. They bear a rather machiney sonus. Triggers are probably used, as it feels like every hit on a drum is equally, or very close so, powerful. It does not sound very soulful this way. Plastic, boxy tom drum sound is abound again. The guitars are the main attraction here, having a suitable sound for thrash and death metal, as they can be sharp or hammering. The bass is fairly pounding. The vocals are about gaunt and brutish bellowing, from close to growl to high-pitched ones, but usually staying in middle ground. There's just not that much variety in them. Despite the inorganic drums sound, the production is well done.
The album's theme are serial killers. We got some familiar names such as Zodiac, Rostov Ripper and Vampire Of Hanover. The lyrics themselves are partly quite bland. The stories aren't that gory, but tell more or less larger span of killers' lives, not about the killings. There is also a short overview for every killer including their names, amount of victims and general information package. With nasty cover art, the layout is suitable with the theme.
'Art of Killing' exhibits a band that is hungry, but the song material is annoyingly faceless and at times forgettable. It can get quite blusterer here and there, but does not reach the rabidity of 'Kvlt ov Dementia'. Not even close. Next time around, I wish Chaos Synopsis will have their songwriting pens sharpened... To kill.
Rating: 6½ (out of 10)
Reviewed by Lane
I just stumbled across this release on my Spotify and didn't realize how amazing it really is! Some great thrash/death metal. The guitar is totally unique in many ways! It's thick with a tinge of echo to it, but not much! I think that this is highly underrated! They go through a lot of time signature changes. And the vocals are hoarse. I think that this is ingenious in its composition. And they really stay true to their roots! The songs are put together with an amazing ensemble of riffs! This band is solely unique. The time changes are all there. And the vocals keep it totally underground.
It's as though the riffs go through "mood changes" in their variability. Totally different and ingenious. I cannot stress that enough. They show their influences but make their own sound. The guitars are like none I've heard before. The production was good! Every instrument was weaved in nicely. And the lead guitars were extravagant. I wouldn't change anything on here. The music is what stole it for me. Absolutely! These guys are one in their own style. I just liked every song on here. And nothing is stale about this release. Their newer album isn't as good as this one in my opinion.
The production quality was good (as previously mentioned) and I think it did the album justice. They were just all over the place in brutality. But just different. The time signature changes were significant. I think that they really stuck to one main stationary vibe and then continue to change things up. Each song was brilliant in it's own making. I give the band credit for making some music that's just atypical. They really show the metal community how to be in utmost variability. This band has not been well enough discovered, really. I think that they need to be in more circulation within this type of split genres.
Get this! It's worth it. Definitely. You can check them out on web, but really get the CD. Take my word for it, it's worth it! They are in a league of their own with their style(s) of metal that they play. I wasn't convinced right away, I had to play it a few times to get the vibe they have to them. I was astonished that they could pull this one through! They really know how to construct some amazing metal music. I'm sure they'll be around a lot longer, but this one is one of the ones that's an untouchable, if you know what I mean. I would definitely give it a listen to!
Rating: 9½ (out of 10) ratings explained
Reviewed by Death8699