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Robert Fisk reminds the audiences at his talks about carrying history books with them, because these help to understand the world they are living in, enable each of the persons to place the events of our days in relation to those that have already passed by. History repeats itself. Chaotaeon – a merger of the words chaotic and aeon – had been the original spelling of the band's name, but due to troubles with the authorities the band changed it to Kaoteon afterwards. These two words should be taken literally. This country has seen a lot of wars, conflicts, massacres and turmoil in the 20th century and the book Pity the Nation presents it all in some (at times gruesome) detail. The Lebanese musicians remind the Western audiences about what had taken place in this distant but incomprehensible country; the short-sightedness with which politics played out their disgusting and ideology loaded performance.
While a good portion of bands, especially those in the black metal genre, have a strange and maybe even mythical fascination for death, destruction and killings, chances are that none of the musicians have ever experienced war in any kind of way. Chris Hedges for instance describes it as the “most potent of all drugs that have ever been invented by man”. It puts the finger in one of the hypocrisies which can be identified as underlying the extreme metal genres and the ideas that are expressed on albums too numerous to count or list. The imagery of Hollywood has not much to do with reality and the history books of the West are generally “cleansed” from the disturbing nastiness and the horrific effects of war, torture and the like. Words lose their meaning and make it difficult to comprehend what had happened at a certain time period. One example (to bring up one example that does not deal with the Holocaust): to think of that parts of Germany lost over seventy percent of the population in the Thirty Years' War is simply unimaginable. Sadly, even though the echoes of this horror can still be felt in this country today, the metal/art community refuses to deal with this topic; there are a few exceptions though, but from a general perspective this arguments holds without difficulty. War is often mystified, deconstructed and cleansed of all that does not fit with a simplistic (manichaean) world view.
Kaoteon enables the listener to take a small look into how art can respond to the terror that had been inflicted on a society. A society, which has seen various interventions by other countries, numerous bloody massacres, sectarian violences, clashes of religious minorities/groups, a civil war … and so on and so forth. Such has found a specific expression on this album. The lyrics are disgusting, loaded with curses and openly explicit. Each of the compositions pours the stuff out, throws it towards the listener, wants (demands from?) this person to digest it all. There are no moments in which thoughts circle around, enable to listener to grapple some phrases and keep them in the memory. Somehow it all reminds on an endless vomiting – on a side note: their debut album has the title “Veni, Vidi Vomui”, which expresses this sentiment quite openly – of things that need to be said, must be expressed, are necessary to be spread among the masses. At the time when this first demo from Kaoteon has seen the light of day, it appears as merely two dozen other ones from Lebanon; source: Metal Archives search engine. A small scene not many care about, know that it exists, so why should the band waste their time and energy with pleasantries? It seems they wanted to leave no doubt about anything and attempted to place all into the proper perspective.
Another aspect has to do with religion. Take a look at a history book, which deals with the situation in Lebanon. It is messy and the spiritual aspects are no exception from this. Once a site like Wikipedia deals with the matter as follows – Lebanon's religious divisions are extremely complicated, and the country is made up by a multitude of religious groupings –, then it should be obvious that things are anything but easy in this regard. Originally “drafted” as a Christian state, it has seen a shift towards Muslim religions of various sects over the years; following Robert Fisk and his aforementioned book. As can be imagined, this comes with a backlash and metal bands, generally those with a small following or so-called easy targets, are the first to suffer from this. Even though this comparison is a bit unfair, a similar trend can be found in various Muslim/Islamic countries throughout the Middle East and the Maghreb.
Therefore, the “Provenance of Hatred” is much more complicated and facetious than it is obvious from the first sight. The background is of much more importance, compared with much that is released in the West for instance; especially considering the degree and way in which Lebanon is portrayed in the Western media. Stylistically Kaoteon, and this is still common for metal bands of this cultural sphere, sticks to a rather conservative and Western-oriented type of metal. Three facets make an appearance here: death metal, black metal and grindcore. Growls and scream are important in the regard of the concept, because they help the band to create something that would reflect the aggressiveness had “hatred”, so to speak. As can be expected, their part is far overblown and drowns the instruments unnecessarily. When it comes to these, not much can be said except for certain tendency to follow a standard set of playing such a mixture of genres. Melodies are simple and do nothing more than providing the basis in terms of the setting. There are no solos, there are no outstanding conceptual ideas or breaks that need to be discussed or emphasized. Intensity over atmosphere, this is what the band had headed for in their first attempt. A state of amazement is never reached. It is rather something to get a crowd started on a live concert, than to fascinate the Western audience with surprising twists or local cultural flavour. A straightforward attempt without much prospect of inventing the wheel anew.
The first demo of Kaoteon is hardly a masterpiece. It feels like a band, whose music attempts to deal with their own frustration and this has found expression in something rather from the gut than from the brain. From today's perspective it is difficult to really appreciate the performance, because the debut demo does not seem to have aged very well. New bands from the small Lebanese scene have surfaced, spread music on a higher professional level and even Kaoteon themselves have had a chance to gain support from a well-known European label for their debut album. Provenance of Hatred sheds light on the seeds sown back in 2004, which have grown and to some extent matured on their “Veni, Vidi, Vomui” output. Be it the versatility in the drums, the extreme nature of the vocals or the hectic dynamics, overall, the general idea can already be discovered but it somewhat fails to impress.
Nevertheless, it is an noteworthy piece of metal art and definitely recommended to those, who want to gain some insights into the ways and styles this extreme kind of music has found expression in places in which it is challenged by authorities. Even after all these years not all is well in Lebanon. Sadly, the Western media rarely puts an eye on this country left alone on their art scene. Only in days of trouble and turmoil it is brought back into the spotlight: the all too common sensationalism and hypocrisy in the news. Well, such had been the case lately, due to the assassination of Wissam al-Hassan; look it up.
An explicit and powerful first attempt from a scene not many have on their radar or might be interested in.
Based on a review originally written for ‘A dead spot of light (Number 21)’:
By releasing this demo, the band intends to spread chaos with their extreme metal, as “Kaoteon” defines their genre, and they surely did! “Provenance of Hatred”, is a three track masterpiece released back in 2004, leading my all time favorite demos.
The band tries to express their frustration through this astonishing release. This is skillful law-breaking black metal for all metal fans. Songs are chosen with great potential from the ultra-extreme opening “Decrepitude” to the bone crushing demo-titled “Provenance of Hatred” to the enjoyable brutal melodies of “Wrenched”.
No more then two instruments are used for the record of the demo: the guitar and the drums. There is no bass or any other undesirable melodic sound. Despite being simple, but diverse, the well composed and arranged non-technical riffs of Antony define this solid record; and in my opinion rank “Kaos” among the upcoming talented composers.
A highly amazing blast beating drummer turns the atmosphere to a real chaotic one where insanity is a must. Listener may loose concentration and start head banging massively.
A psycho vocalist, I can’t find a more suitable adjective defining Wolflust’s voice; ranging from ultra-high shrieks to lower growls. You can clearly notice, through the rage of the voice, the revelation toward society.
High credits are given to the song lyrics. In fact they are extremely adequate with the music and deliver well the band’s message.
In a country where corruption stands supreme, a highly recommended release rise from the ashes to once more prove that metal is never dead! This is pure perfection in the black metal scene. A highly recommended demo, no one may ever regret to have such release under his metal collection. Try it and judge by yourself.
Highlights: All three tracks.
I was really surprised by Kaoteon’s debut demo “Provenance of Hatred”. This demo proves that location is not important as Kaoteon emerge from Lebanon and they showed that they can do wonders.
The demo is extreme, full of hatred and has something of its own that makes it an original solid extreme metal release. The demo contains 3 apocalyptic tracks: Decrepitude, provenance of Hatred and Wrenched.
In general, Kaoteon’s sound is identified from other bands with the old school music structure of Anthony, heinous Growlings of Wolflust and blasting drums of Riad. The riffs of kaosgod are aggressive, well arranged and in perfect adequacy with the songs.
It's not boring at all; actually it is pretty intense from the first minute till the last unlike a whole lot other bands. (I, sometimes, listened to the demo more than 20 times a day...)
Decrepitude which seems to be the most popular song by the band has a lot of various moods from northern like riffing to slower parts with low pitched vocals and it keeps going better and better till the last blasting ending riff.
Provenance of Hatred is damn insane from the beginning to end, having a faster tempo than decrepitude and much more aggressive tone to it, this song is simply a killer.
Wrenched screams out an old school like sound with a furious vocal and delivery and a great guitar structure.
I am pretty sure that Kaoteon would be one of the best bands in the scene if they received the right support from the right labels.
Kaoteon delivers a very good sound to the extreme metal scene when 90% of nowadays bands deliver total crap...
-Decrepitude: this is one damn good song with very interesting Guitar riffs that starts with a slow melody that attracts your attention in a very innovative manner; the song has an epic viking feel but still has an original as fuck delivery that leaves you with an amazing output... The vocalist delivers a variety of pitches in a very aggressive performance that is remarkable. At the end of the song, you will notice that the song is addictive with its fine well structured melodies gathering the phoenician and northern influences.... Very Good One!
-Provenance of Hatred: My Favourite Track in this demo, i can't say more than it showed us the talent those guys have. it starts with a killer riff and very powerful vocals that keeps you interested as the song continues by delivering chaos... the slow middle part of the song is so aggressive and very well executed. The lyrics pull so much digust towards our day to day life. Too bad it's only about 3 mins and a half. I am sure that you will replay this track on and on as you bang your head till you can't feel your neck anymore.
Wrenched: What attracts you in this song's intro are the guitars definitely! The vocals stretches his lungs in this song to deliver his best screams, and the guitars offer an old school straight to the point sharp edge riffing as well as the drummer that plays fitting beats and blasts all along the demo... Wrenched sounds strange in a good way, and needs multiple listens so you can enjoy it fully but once you are there, that old school feel and screams will for sure have a special place on your playlist. You'll enjoy this combination
that made this debut demo a very interesting piece of noise...
This band deserves more!! Keep it Up Guys !
Sure, I recall that when I first heard this I was fairly impressed... But, for the most part, this has been done before. There is quite a bit here which suggests that Kaoteon might release something worthy of an 80+ rating in the future, but giving the demo itself 99% is absolutely ludicrous (whatever you're putting it in context to), I wouldn't even give that to any Darkthrone or Immortal recordings. Some people are far too easily seduced by powerful vocals and a bit of instrumental technicality, as well as the band's status as "illegal BM". While the latter is probably deserving of respect, it won't have an impact on my rating. I'd also like readers to note that the last reviewer got the tracks in reverse order for some reason.
The production is noticably strong from the outset; the guitars have that sharp, medieval distortion to them - the kind you might find on one of the more Pagan Graveland recordings (this is most noticable on the first track), though maybe a bit glossier (crossed with Immortal, perhaps?). The drums are there to drive the guitars rather than the other way around, so the drums aren't dominant in the production. The drumming itself is mechanical (not in the literal sense) and forceful, and he's clearly a pretty good drummer for BM. The vocals are cold and dead shrieks that fit the music nicely.
On to what matters. The first track, "Decrepitude", is easily the best. It begins with a folk melody that is interpreted as Pagan reflection by these ears, with melancholy overtones. The vocals are used on this one to emphasise certain parts of the harmony, often to give the epic climaxes that extra bit of desperation, reminding me somewhat of Vehemence (though don't let this put you off, this band lacks various problems Vehemence have in their songwriting, nor are the two bands much alike in essence). The song flows with plenty of internal wit, with the previously-mentioned folky epic melodies devloping through the drumwork into strong climaxes, falling into slick dissonant harmonies which make sure there's an element of darkness that might otherwise be missing, with plenty of useful tempo changes used throughout. Though certainly not as mature or complex, Kaoteon are straying into the territories of bands like Graveland, Fullmoon and Aeternus in places here, in terms of purposeful drums driving unusual and epic passages forward with a definite sense of ancient spirit, conceptual tightness and completeness. 85%
The title track is faster, fairly typical old-school stuff, and it's far less spiritually sound than that which preceeded it, which is a shame. There are elements of this in the first track but in that Kaoteon sound like they're putting their own expression forward rather than tributing to an earlier style. "Provenance of Hatred" begins by almost wanting to be Arghoslent, before moving into the BM mould as the blasting kicks in. In places it reminds of Wolfnacht's "Heidentum", but not many people will be helped by this comparison, so think the more primitive Graveland stuff, Fullmoon and early Darkthrone/Immortal; but not as good as any of them, and not really adding to them. There's still purpose and spirit to be found, and this pushes the song above that line in my head labeled 'average', but this isn't anything to shout about. 64%
The demo ends with "Wrenched", a pretty generic old-school track with typical chord progressions, reminding heavily of early Norse bands. Entirely average, really, though people seem to think it has a 'strange feeling' to it. Meh... it's energetic and lively, I suppose, but I find myself bored by it quickly. 50%
To summarise, I think Graveland/Fullmoon fans are likely to favour this demo, but don't let 99% reviews lead you to believe that they're anywhere near being in that league. I suggest downloading the first track, at least, but the rest is up to you.
Few bands, in my opinion, have managed to show their potentials and the characteristics of their work in their first records.
Kaoteon's debut demo "Provenance of Hatred" shows that the beginning of this band is impressive and has got the motives to becoming one of the finest bands to raise in this era.
The members know well their instruments. The guitar riffs stand simple but deliver a great weird feel unlike the usual and that is what makes it really interesting, it is not like playing all that he knows to show off but he offers simple great tunes;
From another point of view, the riffs are well composed and we can feel a slight difference in the way KAOS is delivered among the songs. KaosGod is one of the promising composers in my opinion.
However, the drum beats!! What can I say, this guy kicks serious ass, he shall be called Riad the Panzer, and he has an unbelievable control over his set. The double bass and the cymbals impressed me a lot, I mean A LOT and that guy must have 4 hands or something?
As for the Vocalist, I didn’t really believe what I was
hearing. Wolflust has an unbelievable devastating vocal power. I recommend every single metal head that’s into extreme music to
check this guy's voice. He owns it all, Pig growls, squeezing high pitches, shrieks and a whole lot of grunting sounds; we actually notice a lot of vocal variation in this demo. This guy is awesome, one of the best vocals I have ever heard internationally.
In the 1st track at 3min05, 3min29, 3min44 the guy shows a lot of
potentials & different pitches and at 4min33sec we feel that all the members are unleashing their wrath and Kaos in that last riff; Wolflust is singing from the depth of his soul so he's giving such a loud and powerful line, the way the riff blows with the fast picking and its battalion feel makes this riff one of KaosGod’s most raging riffs... The drummer (Riad) has an original twist that his rolls are one of the best in the world in my opinion (it is not about his speed but his really well chosen beats for the music) and his timing is perfect...
This track have reached #1 in the top 20 at rapture radio the last time I checked it...
In 2nd track in 1min05sec Wolflust does astonishing vocal lines, I was really surprised coz it's the 1st time I hear such a vocalist with such a creativity , he changes a lot of pitches, he has a great variety in growls and pitches as well as the drummer that blasts along most of the track and the guitars that are as solid as it gets.
3rd track, also Wolflust does an incredible work and offers one of his best screams and this song has a really strange feel to it.
Overall, the 3 tracks kick ass, and it's one of the best shit I have ever heard, I also heard that it was recorded in a home made studio in 1 single take that is in 1 half of a day and I think these guys did an excellent job regarding the standards.
The music composition is amazing it shows that simple riffs could make a really powerful record without the need of showing off, the vocals break the riffs with a great wrath as the guitars represent depressive hate and that is really what this KAOTIK EON is offering to us on this planet earth, especially here in the Middle East.
I think that this is a MUST to all the ones that like extreme metal music although it is not technical, it is an excellent job for a debut demo.
Imagine a world where even the act of listening to metal is ILLEGAL. Yeah, you heard me. This is the reality for Kaoteon, so it's not surprising that their own brand of music bleeds anger and frustration from every note. That's not to say this a mindless expression of rage though. Far from it, this 3-song demo is a very well constructed piece of controlled violence indeed. The riffs are mainly melodic speed-picking driven by a highly skilled drummer, often comparable to old-school Czech black metal masters like Maniac Butcher and early Root. This is all wrapped up in a clear, no-frills production job which eschews the "wall of reverb" sound so prevelant in much of todays black metal, in favour of crystalline rawness which leaves no aspect of the sound buried. There's no bass on the demo, but the sound is still remarkably full despite this.
Then there's the vocals... the singer employs a full range of harsh styles here, ranging all across the scale from an enraged shriek to a lower growl and back to a midrange snarl. All the while, the songs are incredibly catchy (particularly the beginning of Decreptitude and all of the title track), making this one of the more accessible demo recordings i've heard for a while. All things considered, Kaoteon have succeeded in producing a high quality recording for their first output, and while the songwriting still has a little way to go before it really kicks your face in, this is well worth tracking down (or just ordering directly from UHR will do the trick quite nicely).