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Review: Heathen - The Evolution of Chaos
The Evolution of Chaos

Label: Mascot Records
Year released: 2010
Duration: 67:13
Tracks: 11
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: April 5, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
Readers Rating
The Evolution of Chaos

Rated 4.77/5 (95.35%) (86 Votes)

Few albums have been embraced by the metal community this year as well as Heathen's new album The Evolution of Chaos has been. People have been declaring it a modern thrash classic, one where the veteran thrashers show the young ones how it's done. The fact of the matter is that I want that to be the case, but it isn't. Nevertheless, it is a good album. It's got all the elements of a thrash classic, but it isn't executed with the passion it needs. It seems like Heathen made an album with the intention of proving that they were better than the young thrash bands. That mentality bleeds through this music. In turn, the quality of the music suffers. I hate to play the role of the finger wagging naysayer among such widespread reverence, but The Evolution of Chaos is simply not as good as people are saying it is.

I don't want to make it sound like this album is bad. It just doesn't live up to the hype and adulation thrust upon it. Lee Altus and newcomer Kragen Lum make a great dual guitar team. The riffs scale upwards and downwards, creating some pounding headbanging anthems. When they are given the spotlight, they shine. They seem to feed off each other, creating some tightly woven, slithering instrumental passages. But David Godfrey's voice isn't what it used to be, and it cannot carry this album. In fact, it's outright irritating at moments. He doesn't bear the necessary passion for songs like "Fade Away" or "Undone." Yet, at the same time, his blunt and primal anger heighten the sincerity in songs like the Metallica-ish "No Stone Unturned." Later on in the album, they get political, which isn't a problem, but they do so idiotically. The blind patriotism on "A Hero's Welcome" is just imbecilic. Regardless of political affiliation, this song is entirely stupid.

I do enjoy this album, just not all that much. It's by no means an album of the year candidate, but it's a memorable comeback album. The Evolution of Chaos suffers from weak execution whilst maintaining a fast paced, angry thrash theme throughout.

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Interview with bassist Jason Viebrooks and guitarist Kragen Lum on March 1, 2015 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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