After much awaited time, the band beloved by the entirety of the local scene, Kaoteon, has finally released a new album. The band has had a great start this year, releasing the album as part of Complexity Fest in the Netherlands. “Damnatio Memoriae” is a twist on death metal, with the wicked elements of atmospheric black metal and the brutality of death metal. Kaoteon has taken on what bands like Behemoth have created and weaved into a unique blend. This separates the band’s release from others and lets it shine out due to the gloomy atmosphere it sets.
Formed in late 1998 as a one-man band by guitarist Anthony Kaoteon (and then later joined by Walid Wolflust (also known as Walid Choughari) on vocals, the band has gone through multiple lineup changes often revolving around them. On their latest album, two session musicians, Linus Klausenitzer from Obscura and Fredrik Widigs from Marduk, were featured.
The album, in my opinion, is a great representation of what Kaoteon’s music is all about. Instrumentally, “Damnatio Memoriae” isn’t your usual blast beat only metal riffs, but a balance between the latter and great melody. The bass isn’t following the guitar but rather doing its own thing and the drums are just a complex merge of technicality with a drop of groove. With such a musically diverse-in the sense-background, the vocals cover anything from haunting shrieks to hardcore growls. The album opens up with two emotionally contrasting songs. While “Damnatio Memoriae” starts out with enraged vocals that sear hearts and instruments that roar with uncontrollable fury, the next track “Barren Lands” gives a more openly aggressive sound similar to that of modern black metal artists. And thus unfolds the album as a harmonious combination of total mayhem and melody.
Yet throughout the album, the band keeps the composition and structure efficient with the instruments building up upon each other and aggravating until they all erupted, as the vocals stared in the eyes of “the man” and spit blood onto them. With a consistent nod of oriental background and a touch of progressive music, Kaoteon slowly soared above ending the record with a glorious resurrection of what the band is all about. The album sheds light on themes such as political corruption and religious intolerance, topics to which they have been often faced in their country. And if that’s not enough, the band has released the album on its own with the help of great mixer Daniel Bergstrand.
Kaoteon’s Damnatio Memoriae Tracklisting:
Venom Of Exalt
Light Of Compassion
Into The Mouth Of Kaos
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