Lebanese Death Metal band KAOTEON have seen fit to drop their new album Damnatio Memoriae on the world, and believe me when I tell you this one is not for the faint of heart. There’s no fucking around here, and each track is a sledgehammer through windshields and storefront windows, that’s for sure. Full time members Anthony Kaoteon (guitars) and vocalist Walid Wolflust are joined for this one by OBSCURA bassist Linus Klausenitzer and MARDUK’S Fredrik Widigs on the drums, so how can this not be a recipe for success, right?
One listen to “Barren Lands” should be all the convincing you need, because this one to me was the sonic equivalent of someone being burned alive, so obviously I loved it. There’s a strong Black Metal feel to this one as well. “Raging Hellfire” is one of those everything AND the kitchen sink tunes I really enjoy, so strike another winner right there. Seriously, this band sounds like someone starved a pack of wolves, then injected them with rabies, and THEN set them loose upon some unsuspecting villagers. Because for much of this record, I can envision flesh being ripped from bone. And that to me is just wonderful.
“Non Serviam” starts out cleanly and quietly for a couple of minutes before the hammer swings down and we’re thrown into a world full of blast beats, dissonant riffs, and growls for days. Meanwhile “The Will” changes things up, with more of a slow, stalking Death Metal vibe than what we’ve heard up to this point. Well…that’s what they’d have you believe, because out of nowhere, shit takes off and everything comes flying at your head once again. Oh, and “Light of Compassion” is a sonic battering ram hell bent on going through anyone and everyone.
“Into the Mouth of Kaos” and “A Breath” round out the album nicely, because the former is brash and in-yer-face, while the latter is more subtle at first. Then it just rips your throat out like Dalton in Roadhouse. This is without a doubt one of the record’s best tracks and screw anybody who doesn’t agree. At the end of the day KAOTEON have put together a very aggressive and heavy album with Damnatio Memoriae that I think many extreme metal fans will get onboard with. Hell, they’d be crazy not to.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “A Breath”, “Barren Lands”, “Raging Hellfire”, “Non Serviam”