Khaøs - 'Risen'

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Khaøs - 'Risen'

The time has come to welcome some Khaos into your life.

This is a great debut from the Swiss/American band. In 2012 they released an EP that caught my attention due to the involvement of singer Chandler Mogel, the Outloud and ex-Talon front-man.

The EP was moving in a more Modern Rock direction than the Classic Melodic Rock of Outloud. While it was an interesting idea, the music and Mogel's vocals didn't always knit together so well. Some of this could've been down to the manner of how they recorded it; the band in Switzerland and Mogel in the U.S. I'm delighted to say that this accusation can't be levelled at this debut album as the music and Mogel gel perfectly. In fact, none of the EP tracks make it onto the album. Instead, the twelve newly recorded songs manage to toe that fine line between Traditional, Melodic "chest-beating" Rock and the hand-wringing intensity of Modern Rock.

'After The Silence' sets the tone for the record. It's a Melodic Rock song with Mogel's vocals taking the melody and making it soar while the band Rock in a post 1990s manner. 'Crisis Factor' gets heavier as does one of the standouts 'Imagined Danger' with its big downtuned guitars and double kick drum sound. This song has a solid gold hook, a brilliant delivery from Mogel and positive life affirming lyrics. Even when they experiment with some growling vocals, buried quite low in the background on'Ride The Chain', this only adds an extra layer and the record doesn't ever lose sight of the fact that it's essentially a Melodic Rock album.

There are a couple of slower tracks that really stand out. 'Exalted' has a strong hook and great vocals from Mogel and could almost pass for a Mr Big song. 'End Of Daze' is a very hypnotic number before the band fire up their guns and help the track explode into space (to paraphrase Steppenwolf). You sense Mogel's getting a lot out of this record artistically as he gets to stretch himself. Lyrically too, there's more depth here than the Rock 'n' Roll party vibe of Outloud; instead there's more angst about the world's social issues. Respect to Mogel for pushing in this new direction. Although personally I'd normally plump for good time party tunes over music with a darker edge, this is an album I'll return to more often than the last two Outloud records.

'Risen' is a fitting album title because that's exactly what the band has done between the EP and this debut with a great mixture of old and new. A Melodic Rock group trying to push the boundaries which has got be good for the genre as it's not something you can often say of Melodic Rock these days. The time has come to welcome some Khaos into your life.

Duncan Jamieson

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