Lord Kaos
Thorns of Impurity


5.0
classic

Review

by Melodeth USER (20 Reviews)
March 7th, 2024 | 6 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be.. unnatural

Astennu (born Jamie Stinson) was into extreme metal but in Sydney in the early 1990’s thrash was king. As a guitarist he was stuck playing in thrash bands but resolved to look for other musicians to form a black metal band in the vein of early symphonic and melodic acts Emperor, Dissection and Dimmu Borgir. Well before the age of mobile phones and the internet, this was an exercise in posting ads in music circulars and metal mags, with Astennu eventually forming Lord Kaos with some cohorts. An initial EP “Path to My Funeral Light” was followed by the debut LP release “Thorns of Impurity” in 1996.

This is where I came to discover them. At the time there was a small extreme metal record store across the road from Parramatta train station called The Hammerhouse which was home to Warhead Records. Looking back it was sort of Sydney’s equivalent of Oslo’s Helvete, the headquarters and record store opened and ran by the late figurehead Euronymous and the other members of the early incarnation of Mayhem. On one such visit I was told to buy “Thorns of Impurity” and looking at the CD now, it takes me back to when I got it. It’s always been the most evil sounding album in my collection, disturbing even. It’s quite brilliant.

The opener “Crystal Lakes” was the biggest song on the album, the track featured on the samplers sent out to independent radio stations and magazines as a symphonic black metal exemplar. The shrieking vocals are mostly indecipherable but you can catch flashes of “beasts of nocturnal being” and “the never ending forest” to remind you this respects the gospels of early Darkthrone and Satyricon.

But sonically “Thorns of Impurity” shares the hypnotic supernatural soundscape as that of Limbonic Art who had not even released “Moon of Scorpio” when this was recorded, so the true origins of this big bang are unknown. The drumming is programmed but only because Astennu couldn’t find a drummer fast enough. But I think it works well with the given celestial black metal ethos, a template which bands like Odium and much later Midnight Odyssey and others would explore. The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.

But now for the twist. Astennu wanted “Thorns of Impurity” to be released on Jon "Metalion" Kristiansen’s Head Not Found label (after meeting the fanzine personality through the “Reverend” Kriss Hades from Sadistik Exekution), rather than through the local Warhead Records label. A band argument was had which led to not only the decision to release it on both labels for the different audiences but also to a falling out with his Lord Kaos bandmates. A trip to Norway followed and whilst dossing at Metalion’s place, a visiting Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir overheard Astennu’s playing and later told his bassist Nagash who subsequently invited Astennu to join his new (other) Covenant band who then recorded “Nexus Polaris”. Shagrath then asked him to tour the final legs of the Enthrone Darkness Triumphant tour and then recorded on Dimmu Borgir’s “Godless Savage Garden” EP before writing and performing on the “Spiritual Black Dimensions” record. After a few years with Dimmu Borgir and contributing some music to their “Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia” album, he left/was dismissed to the ether of the cosmos.

But why am I writing about this album now, some 28 years after its recording and release? Well to my amazement as I was walking down an inner west Sydney street the other night, my gaze fixed on a poster in a shop window advertising the once-mighty Lord Kaos are scheduled to play a freak home town show with others this Saturday night. Hence my renewed interest in “Thorns of Impurity” and its story. A time when Norwegian Black Metal found its tentacles reaching further than ever before at a burgeoning time for the genre.



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user ratings (3)
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Muzz79
March 7th 2024


3018 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Early to mid 90’s black metal was insane. Here is Lord Kaos Crystal Lakes

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uijG0aOWSZg

Zac124
March 7th 2024


2578 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Your review has me intrigued. I will check.

Muzz79
March 7th 2024


3018 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah zac check it. Rly is a 90's black metal classic from the vault

Muzz79
March 9th 2024


3018 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Killer show from the lads last night. Astennu’s playing was mesmerizing

Zac124
March 16th 2024


2578 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not too much of a fan of this one. Closer slapped though.

Hawks
March 16th 2024


86681 Comments


Astennu is in this band?? Gotta jam.



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