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Godless – States Of Chaos

Godless
States Of Chaos
by Oli Gonzalez at 31 January 2022, 6:00 AM

GODLESS are a 5 piece extreme metal band, leaning heavily towards the thrash and death metal ends of the spectrum, and hail from India. India? Yes, not the first place I would think of producing a band of this genre, especially with bands from the UK, USA, and Scandinavia often dominating the major festival slots and occupying the shelves in record stores. It’s always interesting to see what bands are emerging from other under-represented parts of the world. Speaking of festival slots, GODLESS have a major claim to fame as they represented their nation at Wacken Open Air 2018. Perhaps their biggest accomplishment to date. A very big accomplishment at that. “State Of Chaos” is their latest full length album, promising a mix of thrash laden death metal. Let’s get started.

A strong opening to the album with “Malevolent”. They weren’t lying about the thrash-laden death metal. This stuff is brutal! The guitarists have definitely gone down the simple yet brutally effective route, prioritising killer tone over needless complexity. And it works! The rhythm section is lightening fast, with the drummer peeling of 16th notes effortlessly. Much of the same can be said for “Visions” where this ferocious intensity is maintained in another death metal masterclass. I’m definitely getting a SUFFOCATION vibe from the instrumentation, and I’m sure they must have been a key influence for GODLESS. Sadly, I have to turn my attention away to the vocals. Kaushal clearly has a brutal tone to his voice, which is aesthetically pleasing. With that being said, his vocals do sit too low in the mix, and it’s difficult to understand the lyrics.

“Descent” is a much more surprising addition to the album. This is much slower ominous sounding drone heavy instrumental. I was quite surprised when it ended, only after 60 seconds or so. For me, having a much slower song like this can provide respite from the intensity and speed from the rest of the album. I do wonder if it needed to be here though, and if it could have been placed later in the song order, when that break would have been more effective. It seems as though this song is the lead in to “Netherworld”. No musical introduction, just straight into a furious vocal assault. I find myself hammering the balls of my feet along the floor; an imaginary double kick pedal in an attempt to keep up with this blistering speed! With this being said, for me it’s hard to see the uniqueness about this song when compared to the first two on the album. As impressive as the instrumentation is, it’s hard to stay invested.

Whilst listening to “Fluxion”, and the opening minute or so to “Cormorant”, I was beginning to become concerned about the lack of variety in the composition. But then I was proven wrong! After 60 seconds or so in “Cormorant”, the pace slows down considerably. The rhythm guitar and bass lock in for a crunchy tone heavy riff, one that makes me involuntarily head bang. This slower riff is juxtaposed beautifully with Aniketh’s ridiculously fast drumming, the double kick easily reaching 200bpm. The lead guitar decides to wander off into another dimension with an insane guitar solo whilst this is all head together by Kaushal’s Frank Mullen-esque style growls. The SUFFOCATION vibes are strong! Now, the ending to this song. I don’t know how to describe what’s going on here, but it really is a thing of beauty. There are so many different musical ideas being thrown into the proverbial cauldron. It sounds like a mess. A strategic mess though because it works. With a slow hypnotic and ominous guitar arpeggio, another lightning fast blast beat, Kaushal growling like an demon in agony, and the soaring lead guitar solo squealing away, it shouldn’t work. But it does. I had to rewind several times, as this really is the crown jewel of the album.

The strings change their plan of attack and go for a higher gain overdriven tone-heavy assault on the ear drums for “Post-Cryogenic” and “Replicant”. This is much more in the style of DECAPITATED and is a welcome addition to the album. The opening to “Replicant” also features a voice insert, perhaps from an existing movie. Again, another welcome addition. The album wraps up with “Orbits Of Decay”. This is definitely a much more groove laden track, proving that heaviness and intensity can come from different sources, and you don’t have to play at supersonic speed to be heavy. A fair ending to the album.

Overall, GODLESS have proven that they may one day provide some serious competition to the heavyweights of extreme metal. I say one day, because they’re not quite ready yet. They show major promise with a solid group of individual musicians and demonstrate excellent song writing potential, especially when “Cormorant” is concerned. Greater exploration of these experimental ideas would stand them in good stead. They have done their homework with the majority of the production on this album, as it’s a very high standard. However, the vocals do need addressing as they seem to sit to low in the mix and are very hard to understand at times. One issue is relatively easy to fix, but with English assumingly not being Kaushal’s first language, not so easy to fix. If they do address these compositional and production issues on their next album, this really could be something special!

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Malevolent
2. Visions
3. Descent
4. Netherworld
5. Fluxion
6. Cormorant
7. Post-Cryogenic
8. Replicant
9. Orbits Of Decay
Lineup:
Kaushal LS - Vocals
Abbas Razv - Bass
Moiz Mustafa - Guitar
Ravi Nidamarthy - Guitar
Aniketh Yadav – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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