Chaos-Heavier than Heaviest!  

Posted by Praveen



Watching something grow from nothingness to an all pervarding force over a period of time is a particularly rewarding experience. Watching Chaos, the heavy metal band from Kerala over the last 5 years, is one such experience for me. Back in 2004, I was there watching amused as 2 skinny lads came and asked my friend Raja, "Heard you bought an electric guitar. Can you play with us?" And there started their journey together. Nikhil, the skinniest of them, was playing the leads, barely pulling off the simple leads of songs like 'whiskey in the jar'. Pappu, as lazy as he's at present, was leaning on the bass and trying hard to keep up pace. JK, the vocalist with a 'tilak' on this forehead and mic in his hand looked nothing more than a petty ganamela singer. Raja, the rhythm guy was best described by the T shirt he wore which said, "A(Chord) B(Chord) C(Chord), Lets start a band". All he knew was 3 or 4 chords. And then there were the legion of drummers, which kept on changing in this band. And they started off with the worst possible drummer one can ever get anywhere. Luckily, they threw him out after one show. They were called 'aakrantham' back then. It was just another startup college band in an already crowded field. The level of crappiness can be gauged from the fact that the first original they tried to make was a developed version of the popular avenger bike ad song.

One year down the line, the deviations from the expected script were getting clearer. They were now winning competitions on the trot with almost perfect covers of songs like 'Sad but true' and 'seek and destroy'. And there was their sole original song 'coup d etat' which had the shades of their current brilliance. One more year down the line, they were covering perfectly even tougher songs like 'Cowboys from hell' and 'Lucretia'. They had morphed from a force to reckon with into an unconquerable force in the local rock circuit. The boundary walls of the state were ready to be struck down soon. They continued their winning habits outside too. And then came the long break. The reason being the rigours of everyday life and the boring corporate jobs. They were all in different places and the juggernaut came to a stop. Months passed on. You can't keep the passion to rock quiet for a long time. And as it happens in such cases, the universe conspired to bring them together again, for the comeback of the season, heavier, louder and faster than ever.

The mindblowing comeback gig happened this weekend in Manipal. Chaos were back at this energetic town for the 3rd time after 2 superb gigs last year. They were supposed to judge the rock competition and do the headlining act. Its so much fun to hang around with these guys with no rock star airs. On the contrary, they are the quintessential 'thara' malayalis cracking those legendary 'neeeglect' jokes and doing all sorts of goofy things. After a day of heavy drinking and smoking, sweating and judging, they strode on the stage to do what they know best. The skinny lads I mentioned at the start, Nikhil and Pappu, were as skinny as when the band started. Only thing, Pappu had longer hair and Nikhil had grown balder. And they didnot forget their usual habit of doing something crazy. This time, they removed their shirts with just the guitar strap to cover their upper body. JK looked not even like a distant cousin of his old 'tilak' clad ganamela self. His physique had grown heavier along with his vocals. Vibhas, the drummer of 'eccentric pendulum' was behind the drums. The blast started off with a cover of Slayer's 'Raining blood' transitioning smoothly into 'Seasons in the abyss'. The sleepy crowd suddenly came alive moshing and screaming for more. Then flowed their originals like 'game', the godhra riot protest song 'Merchant of death' and the short n heavy 'Violent redemption'. These were perfect examples of how much this band has changed in the last few years.

The sound of chaos had changed from heavy metal to 'heavier than the heaviest of metal'. JK's vocals with that extra bit of distortion and aggressiveness is one of the reasons behind this change. He's surely on the path to giving his idol Tom Araya a run for his money. The next reason for the transformation of this band is Nikhil's mindblowing guitaring. He has left behind the 'whiskey in the jar' days for sure. Having composed almost all their original compositions single handedly, this guy is the pillar of strength of this band. Just a listening of the tough but groovy riffs are enough to seal his brilliance. And added to that is the out of the world solo playing. Anybody with doubts on this would've been kicking themselves hard after that 3 minute solo he jammed at the end of Paranoid. His playing was so complete that we forgot the absence of a rhythm guitar. His stage act and attitude is an added advantage. I only had one word for him after the performance-'respect'!!! Pappu has also improved vastly on his bass playing. He certainly has put in a lot of effort to keep up with the frenetic pace of the new original songs. Vibhas, the drummer was a revelation. A self taught drummer, he never missed a beat behind the vessels. And the funny part is that he made it all look too easy. Mind you, its not an easy job drumming to these super tough songs.

Chaos is still on the rise. With rhythm guitarist Raja set to come back soon, they are sure to get heavier. And they still haven't unleashed their full reprtoire of originals. With the band set to take a giant leap soon, keep your eyes glued to this heavy juggernaut that is crushing everything in sight. And wait for the confirmed news on a big concert that is round the corner. This guys surely gonna take the Indian metal scene by storm....pretty soon!!!!

PS-Special mention must be made of Sabarish, the ever efficient manager of Chaos who ran around negotiating, organising, talking and doing everything imaginable by a manager. And the added attraction was his 'right round' dance steps. Another unmissable personality is 'grass balaji', high on grass round the clock but still staying sane. Worth mentioning is his grass making tips. The video will be provided on request.


This entry was posted on Sunday, October 25, 2009 at Sunday, October 25, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

5 comments

Prashant (Purple blood)  

I want the video >

6:46 PM

Hadn't heard of them until I read this post of yours! Thanks for the inputs!

And yes - I agree, that to watch anything grow over time gives a sense of happiness that is unmatched!

12:34 PM

Feels really proud to see guys we knew breaks from the sterotyped corporate life to make it big in rock arena.

And really great to read that Infy or TCS hasnt changed Raja or Pappu.

And quite surprised when I read about Sabareesh

Great going guys......

9:37 AM

I admire your passion.
I respect your dedication.
I feel proud on your achievements.

Way to go Chaos
Keep rocking

\m/
Venu

12:30 PM

I admire your passion.
I respect your dedication.
I feel proud on your achievements.

Way to go Chaos
Keep rocking

\m/
Venu

12:30 PM

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