On their latest album ‘Bellum’ South African sonic cabal Chaos Doctrine invoke a firey inferno of enigmatic, blazing Thrash infused Industrial Metal that is as catchy as an airborne contagion and as crushing as a steamroller.

Opening track ‘Lifting The Veil’ is a chrome plated battleship that forges ahead with bruising rhythms, skin-shredding leads, percussive, Industrial layering, tightly wound bursts of double kick bludgeon and vitriolic vocals.

Following this behemoth of a track is ‘Trial’, a midtempo piece of pummeling Industrial-Thrash that throws its weight about with tundra like synth flourishes and swarming grooves whilst descending into murky passages of mournful Industrial splendor. The thudding bass and drum interplay evidenced on ‘Trial’ is particularly notable as is the gothic crooning of Dr D.

‘Building The Ultimate War Machine’ is an apocalyptic piece of pummel where fizzing circuitry, punchy expulsions of staccato rhythmic warfare and unbridled aggression meet in the most malevolent manner. At just over two minutes this explosive track goes for the throat with a ravenous thirst for blood.

‘One Of My Bad Days’ is a skull cracking slab of Industrial Metal that takes no prisoners in its quest to crush all and sundry into submission.  It is no surprise that Metal Hammer praised this track as being one of the most notable Metal songs of 2023.

‘Bellum’ seethes with vitriol and ‘The Destroyer’ with its arsenal of chugging riffs and stomping rhythms is evident of this. Beginning with a melancholic swath of churning chords and stomping onward through a battlefield of seriously cool layering, Dimbag Darrel like riffs and roaring vocals this dynamic track is absolutely scorching.

With an ominous intro and surging onward at a subdued pace ‘Martyr’ displays a mellower side of Chaos Doctrine. This is perhaps the closest thing to a ballad I have heard Chaos Doctrine compose. With a sorrowful verse, rousing chorus and inherint sense of gravitas, ‘Martyr’ would be a fitting sonic overlay to a visual display of war torn cities.

In stark contrast to ‘Martyr’, ‘Heretic’ barrels forth at a ferocious pace as it nails your head to the wall with its molotov cocktail of crushing Death Metal infused Industrial devastation.

On ‘86’ Chaos Doctrine lean into their more experimental side as they invoke a tapestry of tumult that brings to mind Throbbing Gristle and Einsturende Neubauten as much as it does Lustmord and Wumpscut.

‘CiviLIESation’ is another prime example of Chaos Doctrine’s patented blend of premium Industrial Metal. Quasi-eastern melodies,tumbling drums, electronic stabs and mechanized pomp carry this track forward to its latter half where Chaos Doctrine unleash a frenzy of shotgun pulsations after which said track closes in a meditative manner.

On ‘Bellum’ Chaos Doctrine also bless us with an homage to Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath. Their homage to Pink Floyd fuses the tracks ‘In The Flesh’, ‘Another Brick In The Wall Pt lll’ and ‘Goodbye Cruel World’ in a manner that is honors the integrity of the original tracks while imbuing them with a Chaos Doctrine sheen whilst their take on Sabbath is a maddening mix of classics like ‘Sweet Leaf’, ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Supernaut’ are delivered with a mechanized ferocity that is fun, feral and fantastic!

I have always adored Industrial Metal, its fusion of electronic elements and Metal has held sway over my existence since I was introduced to the genre. Bands like Skrew, Bile, Ministry, Front Line Assembly, Drown, Nine Inch Nails and current practitioners like Black Magnet and Author & Punisher own me and folks Chaos Doctrine exist on the same pantheon occupied by said bands. Their unique, atmospheric, rousing, streamlined,immaculately composed and cinematic Industrial Metal is unique, captivating and lethal.

‘Bellum’ is my favourite album Chaos Doctrine have released. It is a piece of sonic artistry that is crushing, cohesive, iconoclastic and housed in a bruising, glossy production that adds a punishing shimmer to the bone shattering, beautiful and blistering music on display!

-Asher Locketz-