Kaos are five hombres who call the very cradle of thrash metal civilization home. (That would be San Francisco.) It's almost too easy to be a thrash band when you're in the breeding ground of such genre-defining groups as Metallica, Testament, Exodus, Forbidden, Machinehead, and Death Angel. Sad to say, while their peers have already improved the state of the art, Kaos are caught rounding the same tired wheel on the quintet's newest album The Pits of Existence. Their sound a predictable mix of Slayer and Kreator with a hefty dose of hardcore breakdowns thrown in, an ever-so-boring intro launches The Pits before the staid Enter Insanity starts to boil. From here on in, expect a frightful exercise in redundancy as all the usual gritty riffs and hamfisted tempos get thrown around to pass for a semblance of thrash metal excellence. Not!
While it actually pains this writer to dismiss the work of independent artists, one is really forced to draw a line when assaulted by such yawn-inducing clunkers as Bleed Some More, Sludge, and the relieving wave goodbye Exit Reality. No doubt Kaos are competent musicians…and this is perhaps the sole saving grace of the album. Cursed by lyrics whose cheesy nihilism has long been peddled; the kind of uneven production that often buries the scorching guitar leads from Stacey Murray-Keven Gorshi guitar tandem; plus gang style backing vocals married to breakdowns that leave no impact on the listener. If The Pits of Existence were a spaceship the call to HQ would go: 'Houston, we've got lotsa problems.'
On the flip side of such disappointing blemishes, Kaos have put the time and effort to at least present us a complete package. From the lovely cover art to the unfailing energy driving the songs inside, Kaos make it clear that they may not be the best in thrash, but at least they're passionate about it. This isn't highly recommended, but if you're an incorrigible thrash fanatic, Kaos' The Pits of Existence might feed your addiction for a few spins.