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Chaos Doctrine – And In The Beginning…They Lied

Chaos Doctrine
And In The Beginning…They Lied
by Paul LaPlaca at 23 August 2021, 10:18 AM

CHAOS DOCTRINE, hailing from Johannesburg, South Africa this self-described thrash/ death/ industrial act returns with the follow up to their 2018 debut. This sophomore effort, “And In The Beginning … They Lied” takes the listener on a cinematic journey using several audio collages interspersed throughout the album that incorporate sound bites, narration, and textures to bring depth and texture to their stories of how the world has allowed politics, religion, wealth, and power to control the masses. These are challenging concepts but in the metal world they are familiar topics to explore.

The album is front loaded with two tracks featuring guest appearances from ANNA HELL and JÖRGEN SANDSTRÖM on vocals and while both “Blood Serpent God” and “Black Friday Bedlam” are ferocious- the vocals are placed so high in the mix it’s  almost unlistenable. The first track mentioned here is particularly problematic- it seems like there are three competing lead vocals, left, right, and center and it definitely reinforces the “CHAOS” in the band name. Things settle down by track 4 and “Harlot” comes in strong with a more balanced approach, vocals are more cohesive and keyboards are tastefully introduced with simple string parts that add an incredible lift to the song.

“Nocturna Mors” is a dark interlude, a haunting soundscape that leads into “Father Gregori” which builds from a slower and unsettling intro into a driving, chunky chorus that is an actual hook. Again, keyboards here are textural and melodic and add an elevated level to the songwriting. “The Rite” is kind of a combination of ROB ZOMBIE and PENTAGRAM, with that vocal style over a very sludge/doomy vibe. The strings are tuned so low you can practically feel them slipping off the fretboards. “Christ Church Horizon” is equally disturbing and haunting, fully bringing in the industrial textures and drum beats.

They close the album with a cover of SLAYER’s, “South of Heaven” again giving it a bit of the ROB ZOMBIE, or PRONG vocal approach. Overall, CHAOS DOCTRINE delivers a diverse album, full of twists and turns and a very interesting use of sound design to tie the stories together. However, the use of guest musicians with a different approach to production and mixing, and placing those songs right at the top of the album make the work slightly disjointed and confusing. A different song sequencing and more unified direction on the mix would have improved the impact of this otherwise solid offering.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. And In The Beginning…
2. Blood Serpent God (feat Anna Hel)
3. Black Friday Bedlam (Feat Jörgen Sandström)
4. Harlot
5. Nocturna Mors
6. Father Grigori
7. The Rite
8. Christ Church Horizon
9…They Lied
10. South of Heaven (SLAYER Cover)
Lineup:
Daniel Burger – Vocals
Alec Surridge – Guitar
Phil Carstens – Bass
Rory Townes  – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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