8 Dec 2019

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Kaosis - Album Review: Hitech - Lowlife

15 Oct 2019 // A review by Steve Shyu

Kaosis is Hamilton's first and only face-painted, mask-wearing industrial dubstep metal band. And they sport that badge with pride. Having now played in Australia's Dead of Winter Festival, plus two nationwide tours, as well as headlining two Rail Records' Smash the F**king Rails Festival in their hometown, the six-unit group have finally released their long-awaited debut LP, titled Hitech - Lowlife. Having seen the band perform multiple times, Muzic.net's own Steve S. bore the honour of checking out their new album, and here's what he reckoned:

Straight off the block you know this isn't just another metal record. It's electronic, it's glitchy, it's got distorted guitars, and it has rap verses?

Those with hip-hop roots will likely catch Cypress Hill as an influence; fans of heavy metal can expect nods at the likes of Rob Zombie, Fear Factory or Ministry. Within electronic production realms, Kaosis pride themselves on being able to mix up this combination of metal guitars, guttural rapped vocals, cemented in with layers of electronic effects. Programmed drums are chosen over studio-recorded drumming, as makers of electronic music would do, but in the style of nu-metal, Kaosis did not hold back on rapid-fire double-taps on bass-drums.

Also, the aural theatrics are great fun. From the sci-fi, dystopic intro, filled with the sound of panicked screams and machine whirls, through to Zombie, which paints a bleak and violent invasion with faux-news announcements, right down to the doom-ridden End of Fear, eerie with atmospheric, echoing synths and distant screams, makes listening to this album an eventful little journey.

Personal picks are the more energised and fast-tempo drum & bass numbers Battleground and Throw ‘Em Up. As the album is predominantly grooved with the lower BPM a la dubstep, when the tempo changes up to double-time, the fun-factor is ratcheted up and there is no looking back.

The vocal and electronic synth components take up majority of the mix, and the true highlights show when individual features of the music take the spotlight, even if briefly. Like on Battleground, where the main synth hook takes over just after the chorus, or on Throw ‘Em Up, when the lead guitar plays a quick but effective riff, adds more meat to the stew and gives listeners time to digest between the verse-chorus plugs.

However, even at just nine songs (setting aside the intro track and the remix), one does experience a little listening fatigue, where half the songs are of a similar beat, and lyrical motifs and digital effects loop a number of times in one tune (granted, some forms of electronic music do this). Those with an ear for producers like Excision or early-Kill the Noise will likely find this release to be a fun ride.

Make no mistake; this is one hell of a debut album. No other group in New Zealand so far has created as unique a sound. To have pooled influences from so many genres, this is arguably one of the most creative kiwi albums of recent years.

Kaosis are taking their hard-hitting and laser-bathed stage show to Japan next month – Be sure to follow them on Facebook as they conquer the Land of the Rising Sun, and download their tunes on their website.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

Other Reviews By Steve Shyu

Gig Review: Written by Wolves @ Raynham Park, Auckland - 16/11/2019
20 Nov 2019 // by Steve Shyu
"Guaranteed to be a good time" were the words I posted on my Facebook status, summoning friends to join me as I left for Written by Wolves’ album release performance at Raynham Park. I swore by those words as I’d witnessed them give 110% opening for Devilskin, headlining their own sets at Neck of the Woods, as well as (figuratively) setting fire at Muzic.
Written by Wolves - Album Review: Secrets
07 Nov 2019 // by Steve Shyu
It’s no secret. Written by Wolves have been hard at work for the past two years on their debut, full-length album.
TOOMS - Single Review: Greatest Hits
23 Oct 2019 // by Steve Shyu
The enigmatic two-piece Auckland act TOOMS have been busy. They’ve performed at festivals such as Loserpolooza, Hataitai Homewrecker, and opened for international groups Bench Press and Propagandhi.
Ginzu and the Steak Knives - Album Review: Kavanak
19 Oct 2019 // by Steve Shyu
Ginzu and the Steak Knives are an Auckland three-piece act that proudly describe their music simply as "Loud And Disgusting". With a handful of EP's and singles under their belts, the band finally got round to carving out a hefty chunk of their latest work, being their debut full-length album, titled Kavanak.
Album Review: Channeled
24 Sep 2019 // by Steve Shyu
Ben Ruegg, a fellow contributor to Muzic.net.
Bianca Isabel - Single Review: Hypocrite
29 Aug 2019 // by Steve Shyu
Wellingtonian teen singer-songwriter Bianca Isabel has been creating her own music since she was just twelve. In recent months, she has recorded and released a small handful of original material, turning heads in local indie/alternative pop circles.
Shepherds Reign - Single Review: Legend
14 Aug 2019 // by Steve Shyu
Shepherds Reign originated in South Auckland, combining essences of classic and contemporary metal with Polynesian influences. Arguably the best-known Pasifika metal band on our side of the globe, this rising name has not stopped recording music and wowing audiences with live performances with their signature sound since starting in 2016.
Album Review: Blue River Baby
24 Jul 2019 // by Steve Shyu
Blue River Baby are a Wellington band that formed in 2016 and they have since captivated countless live audiences with their blend of classic rock, dub, soul, ska and reggae. Last year, they recorded their very first full-length release with Lee Prebble at Surgery Studios in the windy capital.
View All Articles By Steve Shyu

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