Chaos - All Against AllI enjoy discovering metal bands from the different corners of the world, beyond the usual hot spots, often leading to exotic and tasty finds. However, for no particular reason, the Indian metal scene has remained largely a mystery to me. Last year, unheralded Indian band Kryptos released the ragingly impressive Burn up the Night, certainly making a big enough impression to alert me to the potentially hidden wonders of the wider Indian metal scene. Formed in 2005 in Trivandrum, Kerala, Chaos have a demo and 2013 debut Violent Redemption under their belts, returning with this second LP of high octane thrash that marries old-school aesthetics with raw and an aggressive modern flair. This refreshing combo helps set Chaos apart from the hordes of rethrash obsessives and overly polished productions attached to many modern outfits. Forgot the painfully generic band name, Chaos bring confrontational aggression and truckloads of speed, energy, and groove to their riff-heavy attack.

Running at a lean and mean 34 minutes, Chaos don’t fuck around with fancy stuff, ripping through song after song of aggro thrash, embellished with tasteful shredding, swaggering Pantera-esque grooves and plenty of steely grit and old school spirit. The pacing is relentless but rarely sacrifices solid dynamics and songcraft. All Against All possesses an infectious immediacy, with catchy songwriting embellished by groovy mid-paced beat downs and savage execution. While I don’t know the finer lyrical details, the turbulent social, political and environmental landscape of their homeland seems like perfect fuel to drive the band’s pissed off aggression and slum-wise attitude. Packing tons of cranked speed, visceral guitar work and rugged groove within a mere two minutes, opener “The Great Divide” does a superb job of slamming the momentum into overdrive from the outset. Similarly, the title track jolts you in all the right ways, like strong morning coffee on the back of a foggy hangover, a rush of blazing riffs, ’80s-inspired thrash shred and a shout-a-long vocal hook.

Vocally,  frontman Jayakroishnan may lack variety, but he compensates through the passionate, raw-throated savagery of his thrash-meets-hardcore screams, lending the album a vicious streak, further bolstered by a nasty guitar tone and overall unvarnished sound of the instruments. That’s not to suggest the rawer nature of the production and delivery takes anything away from the uniformly polished performances, representative of a band that has been toiling away relentlessly in the underground for over a decade, honing their strong instrumental chops. At their best, Chaos write confident, quality thrash songs, though the complete songwriting scale swings more towards the solid end rather than achieving consistent greatness, despite hurling several particularly vicious and catchy fireballs, such as the invigorating, hook-laden gallop of “Indoctrination,” and tough, riff-driven crunch of “Asylum.” Although there are no misfires, the larger portion of the material hits with a solid thud but falls short of the album’s high points.

Chaos 2017

Adrenaline levels are consistently elevated as Chaos release their aggression in sharp, violent bursts of potent and infectiously fun, no-frills thrash. Sure, there’s nothing here that reinvents the thrash wheel, but Chaos certainly succeeded in crafting an intense and frequently satisfying experience, imbued with songwriting smarts, a gritty punk streak, and cutthroat mentality. Guitarist/lyricist Nikhil deserves extra praise for his excellent axework, coupling old school shred and ripping solos with classic thrash riffs and a toughened edge. Typically compressed mastering aside, All Against All is equipped with punchy, gnarled tones to match their raw, hostile brand of thrash. And the engaging in-your-face crunch benefits from the production’s clear but rough, unpolished form.

All Against All hit me with surprising force, attacking the senses like a tenacious pitbull and rarely letting up or taking the foot off the gas, except to slam your head into the gutter via rugged, headbanging grooves or during the delicate, soulful notes of closing track “The Escape.” When all is said and done, All Against All won’t land near the top of the metal heap by year’s end, but Chaos do an admirable job of scratching that elusive thrash itch with bloodthirsty enthusiasm and a ferocious hunger all too rare in the modern thrash scene.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Transcending Obscurity
Websites: chaosthrash.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/chaosindia
Releases Worldwide: June 15th, 2017

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  • El_Cuervo

    holy shit that artwork

    • You wot m8?

      Holy shit that video. Best metal music video since Behemoth’s “Ben Sahar”.

      • Reese Burns

        You’re right! That video was next level. Wish more bands made videos like that.

        • You wot m8?

          Ben Sahar stands as the one great music video of metal. Especially any black metal. I’m looking at you, Immortal!

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      Reuben Bhattacharjee MY BhattacharjeeBWEEEE

  • Dr. Wvrm

    Everyone against everyone, hordes of chaos.

    They’ve got a good sound, I’ll give em that.

    • WhamBamSam

      That was the first thing that came to mind for me too.

  • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

    This is really cool! That guitar tone is sharp.

    I like the video too – it’s got a 90’s Headbanger’s Ball vibe. Reminds me of the “Plague Rages” or “God of Emptiness” videos for some reason.

  • S Mahan

    Pretty damn good album! Just bought it on Bandcamp thanks to your great review!

  • herrschobel

    strong 3.5 for me. plus another 0.5 for the strong visual concept in the Cover and the Video. i like very much.

  • Willem Stander

    Now I want to go play Path Of Exile.

  • drug_genosh

    those riffs in the embedded track are pretty damn tasty. album would be a 5/5 if it was just that song played 10 times.

  • Matt slatz

    Album artwork comment:. So that’s what Greece did with all those stray dogs before the Olympics

  • Matt slatz

    P.s. look up the story…. horribly depressing

  • Patrick W. Dunne

    Anyone else get a strong Havok vibe from the embedded track?

  • Mark Z

    Glad I wasn’t the only one to love Burn up the Night. Nine months later I still listen to “Blackstar Horizon” all the time.

  • sir_c

    Whoah nice video, and wicked soundtrack! Well done

  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    I AM FAVOR OF THESE DRUMS

  • I’ve just checked out some video from their previous album, and I’m impressed how great improvement the band made in almost every aspect. I’ll keep an eye on them, thanks for bringing it up, L.

    Off topic: I’m impatiently looking forward to the review of Decapitated’s new album. The two tracks they’ve published so far are damn groovy and I love the meat in Vogg’s guitar tone.

  • Bryan Barkman

    Everything about this is awesome. It’s like the spawn of Slayer and Pantera but maybe even a little more aggressive than those two. Maybe its only DR5 but it sounds amazing, the singer isn’t just yelling, he sounds outright pissed off, perfect thrash guitar tone.
    Probably going to buy this one just based off the four bandcamp tracks.

  • hiverious

    First time commenting here, have been content to lurk and enjoy the discussion in the comments until today. Just want to thank you all for introducing me to the metal scene of my birth country.

    Whenever it came to anything India music it was always the classics I was exposed to since that’s what the people I know (mostly my parents’ friends) listen to. Glad to hear a new side of India’s musical output, and that too while I now reside all the way over in Australia.