Kaoteon - Veni, Vidi Vomui
Label: Osmose Productions
Reviewer: Mujtaba M Badr - 2012-09-06
Highlights: I enjoyed every single track
Recorded and Mixed at Mixdown Studios - Beirut, Lebanon
Mastered at Unisound Studios by Dan Swano - Sweden
Released by Osmose Productions - France
Artwork by Sergio H. - Edited by Adel Youssef
I always looked upon metal music in our region as a soundtrack to our lives Our lives that have been filled with "Warimes" without our choice, we were born to watch everything burn in the surrounding, and for that I “shall forever scream Veni, Vidi, Vomui”.
I was following the news on Kaoteon and reading everywhere about Kaoteon getting signed to Osmose Productions, one of the most respected underground Extreme Metal labels and the starting point of many metal legends (such as Melechesh, Ensalved and Immortal, among many many others), this band did something groundbreaking and hence they brought the attention of the Osmose people. And to know that their album had been mastered by Dan Swano (Yes, the same Dan Swano of Bloodbath and Edge of Sanity), the guy who had never put his name next to a bad thing -I can’t remember any band he was in, produced, mixed or mastered a record that wasn’t at least good- meant that this was going to be one ground shaking album.
But Kaoteon isn't just a good band with a good album. Their album “Veni Vidi Vomui” (which translate into "I came, I saw, I vomited”) took the Arabian extreme metal into new levels. Because after you finish the opener, the title track, you enter a world of organized chaos, brutality and "kvlt" war black metal, in a journey longs just 44 minute you should expect all the forms of extremity present in one place; Black , Death, Thrash and even some Grind elements are there. Anthony Assaker is thunderous with his riffs, Walid Shoughary vocals seem like an unchained roaring lion and his wide range of growling abilities just blew me up. And then we have the beast; Ziad Alam behind the drums. It has been long time since I enjoyed such excellent drumming. I never thought I will hear such beautiful blast beats come from an Arabic drummer.
To describe the band's sound is a difficult task, not just because they adjust their tunes from song to song, but even within the single song they go over many extreme forms of metal. Jihannam Wa Bi'sal Maseer (Which translates to “Gehenna and the worst of fates”) for example, starts as a Blackened Thrash/Death track, in the form of Destroyer 666 and later thrashy Immortal works, and then in the middle of the song you find them playing pure early Black Metal, like the early Norwegian BM, Gorgoroth can come across.
Wartimes kicks off with a Slayer-ish solo, but not like some other local bands when they do this just to show off. NO, Kaoteon do it here and kick your balls. And the story goes on and on, where Morbid Angel , Watain, early Behemoth and all the extreme Gods you can imagine, all collide into one, but with a Lebanese flavor.
Although this may sound as if the band is using the same formula all over the record, but it isn't the case here. Don't get me wrong, Kaoteon keeps surprising us with some unpredicted moments in each track, while keeping the backbone of the record as a solid mix of brutality.
"Etha El Sha'abu yoomn Arad El Haya If the Nation seeked freedom once
Fla Bud 'An Ystgeeb El Qadar Destiny will comply
Wla Bud Lel Layel 'An Yangle The darkness shall fade
Wla Bud Lel Qayd 'An Ynkser" And the chains will be broken]
No no no, am not talking about the current local Arabian situation, its just the beginning lyrics of Anthem of The Dead, sung in Black Metal vocals, can you imagine how sweet this is and how great it is to hear Arabic Metal ,literally, specially when it is used with this contemporary Arabic poetry.
And like the lyrics above indicate, the rest of the album is carriers this atmosphere, at times the band directs its arrows into the insiders and another into the outsiders. In the same way as any sane, well educated Arabian John Doe should feel and think. so as I said in my intro, this record is the would-be soundtrack to the life of what an Arabian John Doe.
Perhaps Kaoteon didn’t break the norms with this album, maybe they didn’t present a new unique form of metal, and maybe they didn’t bring something new into the international and the local scene. But these are not the only ways to carve your name in the history of metal; putting a solid album out, with excellence in every element in it, is the shortest way to achieve the legacy status. And that is what Kaoteon did with this album. An album that must be owned by every single Arabian headbanger. A must for every extreme metal “tr00 kvlt” fan.
Highlights: Every song is a highlight, but if I had to choose it would be: Anthem Of The Dead for its lyrics and To Purge One's Self, for its sweet melody that fits as an ending for such an amazing ride.
I love every second on this album. I may be accused before of over rating Arabian albums. But this time, I am so sure that what I had heard here is one of the best and the finest records that been done by an Arabian band.