The Pits Of Existence
posted on 4/2010 By:
Kaos’ brand of modern, technically proficient thrash seems to be gaining ground as the retro-revival wave appears to be gradually losing steam, and I for one welcome the change. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with the Eviles and Toxic Holocausts of the world, Kaos’ take on the genre is decidedly more original and subsequently more memorable on The Pits Of Existence, their third full-length.
To be fair, some inspiration from the classics is always going to shine through in thrash, but the dudes in Kaos primarily use these influences as a foundation rather than the entire focus of their sound. There’s a good variety in tempo and structure that keeps the album interesting throughout its rather lengthy duration, with songs like the title track and “Screaming In The Mirror” slowing things down to a raging mid-pace to play off the breakneck speed of tracks like “Bleed Some More.” Kaos are also capable of laying out their ideas in a more epic style, shown by the solid atmospheric build-ups and sense of pacing in the lengthier “Blood Sacrifice” as well as the shorter instrumentals that bookend the album. Jason Darnell’s vocals run all over the place, from high-pitched screams to gang shouts and growls and even some semi-clean spoken word segments. I wasn’t wild about all of his different vocal tones (and the chorus to “Let God Sort Them Out” is kind of grating), but the depth and variety in the vocals is still a plus for the band.
There’s not much on The Pits Of Existence that will really surprise or blow away many seasoned metalheads, but Kaos are nevertheless a skilled group of thrashers with a promising mix of ideas at their disposal, and even better, they don’t feel the need to rely on retro-nostalgia tricks and gimmicks to get the point across. For whatever reason summer is typically when I enjoy thrash the most, and I can definitely see myself reaching for The Pits Of Existence frequently in the coming hot months. Good stuff.
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