posted on 8/2007 By:
Boy, this is hard work! From the band’s moniker and album title it should be pretty obvious we are in grim black metal territory here, but try as I did I could not find out much about Nekrokaos, which is probably the way they want it. The song titles don’t help much either, with all of them called “Untitled”. To get to the point, if you are a fan of raw, filthy, underground black metal (as opposed to big names like Emperor, Immortal, Satyricon etc.), you may find something to like on Chaos II.
First thing that should be addressed with this album is production. On one hand you could say the sound on this disc is utter garbage, but followers of this style will know that this is precisely what characterizes a lot of these bands. Nekrokaos don’t offer much in the way of musicality and are quite minimal in their approach. At their most metallic, the band opts for a sloppy, simplistic style within typical black metal song structures. However, these guys are more interested in experimental/ambient territory on this album and while this exploration is admirable, it hasn’t resulted in anything memorable on the songwriting front.
An admittedly interesting aspect to Chaos II is how it becomes less and less song-oriented as it unfolds. The first – and most passable – “Untitled” features droning, discordant riffs played over a plodding drum beat with suitably twisted vocals over the top. While the guitars and drums sound awful, the song’s snail-pacing at least allows you to hear them with some sort of clarity. The vocals are actually quite decent, with some genuinely disturbing growls, shrieks and screams on display. The album pretty much goes downhill from here though. The following two songs utilize speed/blast sections which collapse into an inaudible mess due to the production. The fourth track leaves out drums to feature only the agonized, reverberating vocals over guitar, reminding me of The Axis Of Perdition though nowhere near as effective or menacing. The final two tracks drop the guitar as well, replacing it with ominous, claustrophobic soundscapes that simply aren't interesting enough to warrant the album’s exhausting 55-minute running time.
Nekrokaos may only appeal to the grimmest of black metal devotees. There’s little of substance on Chaos II, whether you’re talking musicianship, songwriting or production. The band does create a decent atmosphere some of the time but it’s wasted on songs that are far too simplistic and monotonous to make this disc worth sitting through. I’ll be sticking with The Axis Of Perdition or good old Bathory instead.
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