KAOTEON (Kaotik Eon) began in 1998/9 as a one man band by Anthony (Kaos). About mid 2000, Walid (Wolflust) was summoned to do the vocals and different members were tried out afterwards but never lasted due to the lack of local talent or dedication. KAOTEON started effective work in 2003 after losing hope in finding adequate members for the job so they dropped older composed material, and worked on the debut demo "Provenance of Hatred" which was recorded on january 2004 in a single take at a home made studio with sessionist drummer Riad doing just a couple of practices Read more on Last.fm.
For over a decade, Kaoteon has been the most renowned Extreme Metal band in Lebanon. Struggling through the years to put an album out, mostly due to the lack of time and resources, the band has finally achieved an important milestone by collecting their song repertoire from the years and adding them along others to their first full length entitled “Veni Vidi Vomui”, released on the Osmose Records label on February 21st 2011.
Now however the reviews turned out to be, they all lacked some perspective: the reviewers aren’t Lebanese and they haven’t seen the band perform at the local venues. It’s safe to say that the liner notes, the Khalil Gibran references, the themes of independence, honor, injustice and hatred target the Lebanese listener more than others. The intro track “Veni Vidi Vomui” is a good example of that: akin to war themes, with the ruthlessness of a citizen defending its home, a patriot defending his country. While usual battle topics include swords and horses, Kaoteon speak of shoving cedars down the aggressor’s throat. How’s that for a treat?
Musically speaking, the band lives up to its Extreme Metal linkage by going at it nonstop throughout the album. Actually the only song that takes a breather is “To Purge One’s Self”, which showcases some clean guitar with Gothic meets Black Metal parts, a la “Moonspell”. There’s even an enjoyable bluesy guitar solo from Anthony “Kaos”, a rare treat on such an aggressive release.
Other songs that stand out are both “Decrepitude” and “Anthem of The Dead”, which were already posted online (in 2004 and 2008 respectively) long before the album was released. “Anthem of the Dead” is definitely a fan favorite and a recent highlight of Kaoteon’s live set. Its originality lies in singing a freedom ‘anthem’ in Arabic, fusing it within a black metal context and proclaiming that the people are fed up with the social / political nonsense of this country. “Decrepitude” also follows on the same black metal line while focusing on melodic riffing and the intensity of bands such as Immortal.
It’s fair to say that because the album is the product of the band’s earlier demos put together with “new” songs, there’s definitely some discontinuity on this release, although the spirit of the band and the composing is similar throughout the whole thing. Still, one can easily notice the ‘old’ Kaoteon songs vs the ‘newer’ ones.
Aside from the catchy songs talked about earlier, there are several aggressive tracks like “Hateforged Retaliation” and “Wartimes”. The most interesting of those is “Wrenched”, a song that’s built on Extreme Metal 101, with a bombastic introductory riff and a hateful chorus that’s well delivered by Walid “WolfLust”. These songs might be similar in structure (both riffing and drumming), but Kaoteon are okay with that as long as the aggression, intensity and extreme attitude is there to compensate for the lack of musical variety.
Kaoteon are a band with a regional message, and they don’t care if the message isn’t delivered in a technically fancy or even musically groundbreaking way, as long as it gets there. “Veni Vidi Vomui” is an expression of disgust and intolerance, and the band channeled a decade of that into this release, making it one of the true genuine efforts that speak for the average citizen in the Middle East. However, if Kaoteon were to go further down the Extreme Metal road, they’ll have to come up with a more interesting musical approach, the same way “Annal Natrakh” or “1349” are earning their place amongst the top Extreme Metal bands out there today.
LebMetal.com is currently selling Kaoteon’s Veni Vidi Vomui CD at the local GBOB 2011 competition events. For more information on that, please contact any member of the LebMetal.com staff here.