Interview – Anthony Kaoteon

In this exclusive interview, Lebanese vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Kaoteon talks about his brand new project Death Tribe, his already established band Kaoteon, and his always delicate connection to the Middle-East.

Anthony Kaoteon (Kaoteon, Death Tribe)

The Headbanging Moose: Let’s begin with a very simple question, and that is who’s Anthony Kaoteon? When did you begin your life in metal music, and who influenced you the most to follow that path?

Anthony Kaoteon: I am a Lebanese kid who grew up at the end of Civil War, witnessed the Syrian occupation, the religious hatred of my countrymen, the bombs in the streets of Beirut, the Israeli mass airplane attacks on the country to mention a few big events that scarred me as a child and made me realize that the world is blind and needs someone loud enough to hear the truth.

THM: What’s your goal with Death Tribe, and what’s the main difference from your already established band Kaoteon? Can you tell us more about the story behind Death Tribe and the reason for the band’s name?

AK: Death Tribe is more of a personal project where I am experimenting with Metal genres. It is not a side project but it has no restrictions or limitations as it has no genres, not one vocalist or one sound. The only restriction is me as the only fixed member in the band but working with new musicians opens my mind and allows me to explore areas I would have never explored otherwise. If I was a polyamorous guy, then KAOTEON would be my lover and Death Tribe my date.

Album Review – Death Tribe / Beyond Pain And Pleasure: A Desert Experiment (2019)

THM: Regarding your brand new album Beyond Pain and Pleasure: A Desert Experiment, how was the recording process of the album? Did everything go as planned, and do you think the final result sends the message you had in mind to the listener?

AK: The recording process was very lengthy, expensive and time consuming especially that it was recorded in several regions and studios around the world. The biggest impact on sound were the mixing engineer – namely Karim Sinno from The Audioloft in Lebanon. He brought everything together and kept it crystal clear.

THM: Beyond Pain and Pleasure features an array of excellent guest vocalists such as Walid Wolflust, Serge the Slave, Adnan Mryhij, Youmni Abou el Zahab and JM Elias. Apart from Walid Wolflust, who sings for your other band Kaoteon, are they all your personal friends? How did you invite each one of them to sing in the album?

AK: They are all personal and close friends of mine who have their great bands and I wanted to promote their sound through mine while promoting my sound through theirs. We come from a very talented region that is undiscovered and deserves much more support.

THM: My favorite songs from Beyond Pain and Pleasure are the title-track Beyond Pain and Pleasure, Neurotic Breakdown and Nuclear Hate. I personally think they’re very powerful and rebellious, which I believe is what you want the listener to feel while listening to the album. Having said that, what song from the album better represents yourself and your never-ending fight for freedom?

AK: That is the beauty of an album like BP&P, every person will have a different favorite. I enjoy Hollow, BP&P and Implode Explode a lot but this varies every now and then. The overall sound of the album is rebellious so I surely wanted that but what I really wanted is to deliver an eclectic album that brings all genres together under one record.

Anthony Kaoteon (Kaoteon, Death Tribe)

THM: I’m pretty sure the metal scene in the Netherlands, your current home, is a lot more developed than in your homeland Lebanon. Are there any bands you would recommend from the Dutch underground scene?

AK: I am still not very active in the scene due to a lot of shit happening in my personal life that I will not discuss but the bands here are very talented. I see a huge stoner metal movement. I cannot chose one band top of mind as it wouldn’t be just but there is definitely a lot of bands to check that won’t disappoint.

THM: Now talking about your connection to Lebanon and the Middle-East, how harmful do you think the combination of religion and politics is in that region not only to metal and non-metal music, but to all forms of art? And do you see an end to that in the future?

AK: It is detrimental and I am afraid I don’t see an end to it anytime soon. It is a deeply rooted plague that is still being nourished by the west to control its masses and use it when and where needed.

THM: Do you think one day you’ll be able to return to Lebanon and start making metal music again there? And what do your family and friends that are still in Lebanon think of the type of music you play?

AK: Most people don’t know what is metal unless they like it and play it. We live parallel lives so that we don’t get judged. I don’t see myself returning to Lebanon to play music any time soon.

Album Review – Kaoteon / Damnatio Memoriae (2018)

THM: What’s next for Anthony Kaoteon? Can we expect a new Kaoteon or Death Tribe album in a not-so-distant future, and do you have any plans for touring with any of your bands around Europe or in North America? I would love to see either Kaoteon or Death Tribe performing in Canada.

AK: For touring, KAOTEON is the horse of choice and we are releasing the 3rd album soon hopefully as we finished the recording with Adrian (Erlandsson) from At the Gates on drums and Linus (Klausenitzer) from Obscura on bass again. The mixing and mastering were finalized by Tue Madsen in Denmark at Antfarm Studios and the artwork is getting ready with Vincent Fouquet in France.

THM: Thanks a lot for your time, Anthony! It’s always a pleasure interviewing relentless musicians like you who keep the underground metal scene alive and kicking. Please feel free to send a final message to our readers, and anything else you would like to say to all fans of heavy music out there.

AK: Thanks a million for the opportunity to speak and promote the music Gustavo. People like you keep the dream alive and I hope you will keep it up. As for the readers and music lovers, if you want bands to keep making music – support them!

Links
Kaoteon Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | BandCamp
Death Tribe Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | BandCamp

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Album Review – Proll Guns / Horseflesh BBQ (2016)

Groovy riffs, inebriate growls and a humongous amount of bloody horse meat. This is what you’ll find in this entertaining Western Thrash N’ Roll album heartily crafted by three talented cowboys from Austria.

Rating5

Proll Guns - Horseflesh BBQ CoverartworkWho could imagine that the lovely city of Salzburg, the birthplace of the legendary Mozart in Austria, would also be the hometown of three villainous buckaroos who, despite have nothing to do with the state of Texas (the undisputed land of cowboys in the United States), are capable of producing high-octane Western Thrash N’ Roll? Singing about essential themes for any real man such as women, drinking and barbeque, here comes the dynamic power trio Proll Guns, pointing their sonic guns directly to our faces. YEE-HAW!

This libertine Thrash Metal posse was formed back in 2013, when they released their debut full-length album entitled And the Western Blood Runs, mixed and mastered by Danish producer Tue Madsen (who also worked with renowned bands like Ektomorf and Sick Of It All). Mounting their metallic horses once again, armed with their rowdy instruments and totally soaked up in whisky, they are ready to rock your town with their second album, the sonorous Horseflesh BBQ, a solid and fun fusion of traditional Thrash Metal with the dirty and drunken music from the Wild West. In addition, if you have the pleasure to see them playing live you’ll also be treated to their gorgeous “saloon girls”, Miss Candy Rose and Miss Sherly Colt.

Just as if a bloody western movie is about to start, the instrumental intro Texas Banjo Massacre sets the tone for the title-track Horseflesh BBQ to come kicking everyone in the head with its blend of Thrash and Sludge Metal. The inebriate growls by lead singer and bassist Evil Ed not only sound very thrashy, but also at the same time displaying a huge Rock N’ Roll influence, and needless to say how “carnivore” his embodiment of the song’s lyrics are. Then we have the darker and heavier anthem From Texas To Hell, a good song to enjoy while drinking a bottle of Jack Daniel’s where drummer Cra-“Y”-Maker will put you to bang your head nonstop. I wonder how Candy Rose and Sherly Colt would dance to this electrifying tune, but that’s something we can only witness if we go check the band kicking ass live.

0002Do you want some devilish Blues Metal in your life? Well, in Bloodgun Blues guitarist The Burner “scorches” our ears with his fiery riffs while the level of alcohol in Evil Ed’s blood just keeps rising; whereas Fucking Troublemaker brings forward a bad-tempered sonority with The Burner leading this excellent Rock N’ Roll anthem. Moreover, all the elements from the music by Volbeat found in the music, together with the intoxicating punch of Chrome Division, turn this into one of the top moments of the album in my opinion. And Reno Gang is yet another anthem tailored for bikers and heavy drinkers, slightly more melodic than the other tunes thanks to the crispier riffs and solos by The Burner, maintaining the alcohol content of the album way above 100 proof.

Lookin’ Out my Backdoor, a short and sweet Thrash N’ Roll chant, will generate some “friendly” circle pits during their gigs, and when the banjo hits the music things get even more fun; followed by the longest of all tracks, entitled The Revolver, a brutal Rock N’ Roll song where the screams and growls by the “cowboy from hell” Evil Ed enhance the song’s ferocity, with highlights to the nice work done on guitars and drums as well. Their western sounding keeps reverberating in the thrilling Execution, a more violent version of Hard Rock where The Burner offers some nice guitar effects and Cra-“Y”-Maker keeps kicking ass on drums. Also, its rhythm is what we can call the perfect soundtrack for a “drunk badass Rock N’ Roll party”, which translates into awesomeness. Lastly, Southern Slavery, the acoustic tune that aims at concluding the album in a pensive way, goes on for too long and doesn’t really provide anything fresh to the album, or in other words, it’s the only song that doesn’t make sense to be in Horseflesh BBQ in the end.

To sum up, Horseflesh BBQ is a highly recommended choice for fans of groovy riffs, inebriate growls and a humongous amount of bloody horse meat, and if you see yourself as one of those western metallers go check the Proll Guns’ Facebook page and YouTube channel to know more about their music. You can purchase the album at different locations such as the band’s BandCamp page, at the Grooves Inc. webstore, on iTunes or on Amazon, among others. You can either show your support and appreciation for these talented cowboys from Austria, or I believe Proll Guns will have to challenge you for a pistol (or drinking) duel to introduce you to the world of good old Thrash N’ Roll.

Best moments of the album: From Texas To Hell, Fucking Troublemaker and Execution.

Worst moments of the album: Southern Slavery.

Released in 2016 NRT-Records

Track listing
1. Texas Banjo Massacre 2:12
2. Horseflesh BBQ 4:35
3. From Texas To Hell 5:40
4. Bloodgun Blues 5:08
5. Fucking Troublemaker 3:43
6. Reno Gang 3:59
7. Lookin’ Out My Backdoor 2:09
8. The Revolver 7:35
9. Execution 4:16
10. Southern Slavery 3:18

Band members
Evil Ed – lead vocals, bass guitar
The Burner – vocals, guitar
Cra-“Y”-Maker – drums

Saloon girls
Miss Candy Rose
Miss Sherly Colt