KRONOS - FRANCE

Titan’s Awakening - 2001 - Warpath
Colossal Titan Strife - 2003 - Xtreem
Hellenic Terror - 2007 - Xtreem
Arisen New Era - 2015 - Unique Leader


  
 
Members

S= Bleeding>>Kristof [Christophe Gerardin] - Diluvian, Redeeming Torment>>TRIVETTE [LOIC GILLET]>>Diluvian, Redeeming Torment
G= None Divine>>Tems [Nicolas Tennmar]>>None Divine, Facing Death - GRAMS [JEROME GRAMMAIRE] - RICHARD [RICARDO CHUAT]
B= Dilemme>>TOM [THOMAS VIEL]
D= Kaoteon, None Divine>>Mike [Michael Saccoman]>>None Divine - Carnage Of Children>>ANTHONY REYBOZ



History

Mike and Grams formed Vosges’ Kronos in 1994 as a heavy metal band then as a thrash/death band before changing over to full-scale death metal in 2000 with a twist. The band featured Sebastien Oria on vocals. Kristof joined the fold in 1996. A demo called Outrance was recorded in 1997. None Divine and Kronos next released a split CD in 2000. The group sings about Roman, Norse, Greek and other mythology as indicated by the group’s name.

The band issued Titan’s Awakening as a demo before having Warpath pick it up as an official release. The band switched over to Xtreem and issued a second album in December of 2003. The band lost guitarist Tems earlier in the summer of 2003. A third album arrived in 2007. The group signed with Neurotic Records in late 2007. The French death metal band signed with Unique Leader and issued Arisen New Era in July of 2015. Three members were appearing on a band recording for the first time. Gerardin had been out since 2009.

Bassist Tom is also a drummer.

Reviews

KRONOS - TITAN'S AWAKENING - WARPATH
Hailing from France, Kronos (formerly Cronos) was formed as a thrash metal band circa 1994. It is remarkable to see them persevere and finally release an album so many years later. The sound is bottom-heavy with the bestial vocals and grinding instruments flying at 1,000 kph. There are quite a few tempo changes, but this is straight forward death and grind without all the juvenile outside influences every other band employs. The singer has totally guttural vokals and the band does not waste time with guitar solos. What would have helped the cause would have been guitar overdubs here and there rescuing the thin sound. There is an oblique reference in the biography about how the album is either a mix of old and new or a rerecorded version of an older album which may explain the sound's uneven temperament. Most songs have a subtitle and there certainly is no shortage of intriguing ones here with the likes of Warmaggedawn (Ancestral War Supremacy), Disease Of God (Ode To The Mighty Battlelord) and Bloodtower (Architect Of Your Grave) standing out. Check out the Death melody which kicks off Eternal Mindtrap. Fans will also find a guest appearance by Kristof of label-mates Depraved on the album.

KRONOS - COLOSSAL TITAN STRIFE - XTREEM
France's Kronos might have changed record companies, but one thing that has not changed is its commitment to quality death metal. In Fact, album number two one-ups its predecessor and raises the bar for all death metal releases.
Colossal Titan Strife - concept album one supposes given the correlation of the title to the band's moniker and debut album- is a pure death metal album that is above average in every aspect. From powerful riffs, to unrelenting speed to brilliant solo and killer vocals CTS proclaims its place as one hell of an album. The band, furthermore, insists on changing the tempo constantly to keep things fresh and banish monotony. Moreover, the quintet has adept musicians with impressive abilities who are actually talented enough to deliver on their intentions. If the vocals of Illdisposed, brutality of Fleshgrind and breathtaking guitar solos sound attractive, then Kronos has an album for you! Songs like the title track, Submission and Phaeton have everything for which a death metal fan can ask. Kronos' Colossal Titan Strife is a tour-de-force performance. - Ali "The Metallian"




Interviews

France's Kronos is an ideal band for death metal enthusiasts everywhere. The band, whose second album was recently issued by Xtreem Music of Spain, won the title of Album Of The Month here at Metallian recently. It was time for Ali "The Metallian" to speak to Mike, the band's drummer, in order to find out more regarding this superlative act - 03.03.2004

METALLIAN: France has metamorphosed into the global centre for quality death metal in the last couple of years. What has brought this on in your opinion?
MIKE: Thank you for this question! France is finally recognised as a country of good metal, even if it is just the beginning, and I am very happy about that! It is such a great pleasure. Many excellent French groups have been discovered in the last decade by fans. I think our country has greatly improved as far as the quality of the music is concerned. The problem is that we terribly lack recognition enjoyed by the more famous scenes such as Germany, the USA or Scandinavia among others. However, as you said, things are changing and in no time France will be respected as a country of metal because French groups are as good as those from the rest of the world. I am thinking of Dungortheb who play melodic death, Zubrowska who play brutal deathcore, Inhumate who play grindcore, Depraved who play grind/death, Mortuary who play brutal death, Scarve who are an extreme metal band, Recueil Morbide who play brutal death, Loudblast, No Return, Blockheads and many more.
Anyone who doesn't know these bands should listen to them in order to discover and enjoy the 'French school of extreme metal.' I hope that we will be able to put an end to the prejudices people have against our country because, in fact, nationality isn't important. What matters is the quality of the music as well as the devotion and the passion of the musicians.

METALLIAN: More specifically, why do so many bands play pure death metal in France when this art form has died elsewhere, with Scandinavia being a notable example?
MIKE: Well, I think that is also a good question; however, it is difficult to answer . I don't know why, but it is true that brutal death metal is doing quite well in France. Although I believe that it hasn't happened only in our country. Indeed, this renewed interest in brutal death can be felt all around the world. Take a look at countries from Eastern Europe like Poland, Slovakia or Czech Republic, South America like Brazil, Peru and Colombia or even Southern Asia and countries like the Philippines or Indonesia where you can find a huge number of bands playing brutal death metal. In my opinion, it is Sweden, and Scandinavia in general, which are the exception. The Scandinavian bands have indeed their own style, which Can't be found anywhere else in the world. That's why they are so easily recognisable. They have a typical sound. Overall, I must admit that I am very happy to see that death metal is popular at the moment all around the world and I hope that this will last for a long time. Everyone stay fucking metal!

METALLIAN: How did you personally get into death metal?
MIKE: Grams and I started playing music in 1994. He was 14 and I was 13. We were neighbours and quickly got to know one another and became real friends. That is why we decided to play together, as we were both fans of metal. Then we began to look for other members because we wanted to create our own band. Kronos was born. We weren't called Kronos at the time, but we played - even if we didn't play well - things like AC/DC, Metallica or Sepultura. Then, like every young band, we encountered hard times. Finally, after several changes in line-up and musical styles we began to find our own approach to the music, which meant it became more and more extreme and violent. As we grew older we listened to more and more violent bands, mostly brutal death and black metal, and I think that major albums like None So Vile by Cryptopsy, Domination and Covenant by Morbid Angel or Tomb Of The Mutilated by Cannibal Corpse gave us the conviction that the music we wanted to play had to be that kind of music. At last, we really began to compose typical brutal death material which was violent, fast and technical when Tom arrived in 2000. I can say that Kronos, as it is now and as relates to its future, dates back to the year 2000. After that, things began to move very quickly when our first album Titan's Awakening was released. At first it was self-produced and then the French label Warpath Records reissued it in 2001. That album, which admittedly was far from being perfect, really launched us in the underground and enabled us to do many gigs in France and abroad. We kept on working hard and we finally released our new CD entitled Colossal Titan Strife in December 2003. Now we all hope that our career will continue for a long time because Kronos holds an enormous place in our lives.

METALLIAN: Can you please talk a little more about your music? Perhaps you can discuss your intentions during the composition stage.
MIKE: Well, firstly thanks for all the compliments you have sent our way. I am very touched!
Our concept of music in general, and of death metal in particular, is very varied and different as far as the five of us are concerned. That is why it is quite difficult for me to describe our style in a few words, but I'll do my best.
I think we play classical brutal death metal which is fast, brutal, technical and brutish too. Our first goal is to play extreme, savage and brutal songs. Each one of us brings his own ideas and influences. We all listen to very different kinds of music which is why you can find elements of grind, power, hardcore, thrash, a bit of black metal and of Swedish-like melodic heavy death in our music. However, we don't mix all these elements on purpose. It is a completely unconscious process. Finally, I must admit that we constantly try to create riffs and melodies that can be easily remembered even if they have been listened to only once because for us, it is the only way to appreciate a song. As far as we are concerned, we don't like it when we listen to an album and then realize that we don't remember anything at all. It may be because we like to sing when we are in the shower (laughs). Anyway, we always compose songs that we do like in the first place, even if it may seem selfish. When you enjoy what you play, you can more easily transmit the pleasure to those who listen to you.
Well, I hope I made myself clear, but it is complicated to explain how we create our music because it all seems natural when we compose.

METALLIAN: Your answer is actually descriptive. Are or were any of the band members in any others bands by the way?
MIKE: At the moment only Tom is in another band. He plays the drums - he started out as a drummer - in a brand new brutal death metal band whose major influence is the American label Unique Leader. I can't tell you anything about it because I haven't listened to what they do yet and the band doesn't even have a name.
No other member is currently playing in a band simply because we don't have the time. Kronos occupies most of our time. As for our past projects, Tom drummed in a brutal black metal band called Dillemme. Unfortunately, they never recorded anything before they split up. Kristof sang in a brutal death metal band called Bleeding which also split up before recording something. As for me, I played the drums in a melodic death metal band called None Divine, which was a bit like Arch Enemy, along with Tems our previous guitar player, Cedric who sang in Dilemme, guitarist Jean-Marc and bassist and guitarist François from Dungortheb which is a technical and melodic death metal band from the same city as us. By the way, they just released an excellent album entitled Intended to? through Perennial Quest Records. Listen to it. It is brilliant. We just released a split-demo CD with four tracks too. There are two songs by None Divine and two by Kronos. That band has now stopped because we lacked the time. Richard also played in another brutal death band whose name I don't remember, sorry. That was from when he lived at his parents' place in the centre of France. He had to leave the band when he came to study the guitar at a music conservatory in our region which is the North East of France. Grams is the only one who has never played in any other band except Kronos.

METALLIAN: Speaking of members, there has been one line-up change in the band.
MIKE: Tems, our guitar player since 1997, left the band before the recording of Colossal Titan Strife. In fact, we were no longer agreeing as far as the music was concerned and the atmosphere had become quite tense during rehearsal. We talked about the problem as we were about to record the new album. All this happened in June and the recording was scheduled in August. He made his decision and left us. This has been very hard for us all but we had to solve the problem quickly which is why we asked Richard to play with us. We, more precisely Tom, Kristof and I, knew Richard for sometime because we had worked a bit together when he had his exams and from when he studied at the conservatory. He immediately accepted to play with us and to become a full-time member. You must bear in mind that this guy learnt the whole set of songs on Colossal Time Strife in only a few weeks and he also composed all his solos at the same time. For example, he finished the solo of Infernal Worms Field two weeks before the start of the recording session. We are terribly proud of him especially when you consider the huge amount of work he has achieved. I'd like to think that we have found long-lasting stability since the atmosphere is again good within the band. We can finally work in an ideal setting and I think it should enable us to keep on improving in the years to come. We will see it when the third album is released.

METALLIAN: Is Tems in a new band?
MIKE: No, he isn't. Tems stopped playing guitar when he left the band. In fact, he completely stopped everything linked with music in July, 2003. I hope he will reconsider his decision because it is a great shame for someone who is so gifted a composer.

METALLIAN: Another change concerns your old label. What happened to Warpath Records and how did you establish contact with Xtreem?
MIKE: Dimitri and Karine from Warpath Records ceased their activities as a label since the beginning of 2003 because they wanted to concentrate on a project to open up a record shop in their hometown of Toulouse.
We had to find another label to produce our second album so we sent several CDs with some tracks of Colossal Titan Strife to extreme metal labels all around the world. We received some positive answers and we finally made our choice which was Dave Rotten's new label, formerly of Repulse Records. We signed a two-album deal with Xtreem music. I remember Dave appreciating our first album Titan's Awakening. He decided to believe in us and to help us produce our albums. We are really grateful to him and we trust him completely as far as the promotion of the album is concerned. After all, he launched bands like Deranged, Centinex and Deeds Of Flesh. So I think we can be optimistic that we have reached a new stage thanks to this opportunity.

METALLIAN: Before moving on, can you explain the existence of two editions of the debut album? What were the differences between them?
MIKE: Titan's Awakening was first self-produced and, little by little, enabled us to make ourselves known all over our country. That's why Warpath Records offered us a deal to reissue the album. Of course, we accepted so as to benefit from a worldwide distribution and a real promotion. What's more, we had always dreamt of signing a deal with a label. That was a dream come true. Dimitri of Warpath told us that he wanted to release the album with new artwork in order to have an authentic Warpath edition. The artwork of the first version had been created with the little money we had, so we immediately accepted his idea in order to benefit from a more professional and finished work. That's the main reason why our album was released twice. I must remind everyone of the fact that only the artwork is different. The music is identical.

METALLIAN: In that case, can you talk about the two albums? concepts? Are your debut and the new one both narrating one continuous story?
MIKE: Our two albums are based on ancient mythologies, namely the Roman, Egyptian and the Scandinavian ones. Above all though, they deal with the Greek mythology.
Titan's Awakening deals with these themes, but is also symbolical for us as a band. Our name refers to one of the last titans who reigned on earth before the time of the Olympian Gods. This titan was the father of Zeus, himself king of the Olympian Gods. The album is entitled Titan's Awakening because it represents the coming to earth of Cronos - also spelt Chronos or Kronos - a malevolent divine creature avid for power and glory who wished to rule alone on earth. However, this title is also symbolic for us, on a musical basis, because it represents the birth of a new band with a desire for the conquest of the music world.
As for the contents of this album, our texts deal with different stories from different myths originating from different civilisations. As an example, we use the myth of Mahkhith, an avenging angel who devoured children in ancient Egypt, the myth of Sisyphus who was condemned by the Olympian gods to roll a rock between two hills forever or the amazing story of Attila, king of the Huns who intended to conquer Europe. We also deal with more philosophical themes such as the alienation of mankind in the song Enslaved By The Madness or have a reflection on time which rules humans? lives in Eternal Mindtrap.
Our second album, Colossal Titan Strife, addresses a mythological episode which follows the first album. That is, the fratricidal war between the titans led by Cronos and the Olympian gods led by Zeus for the domination of earth. The record sleeve shows the fight between a titan and an Olympian god. These events happened after the coming of Cronos to earth as depicted in Titan's Awakening. As far as the lyrics are concerned, we deal here with Greek myths on the songs Phaeton, Infernal Worms Field, Colossal Titan Strife and others, Roman myths on Opplomak, Egyptian myths on Aeternum Pharaos Curse or legends of all kinds such as the mystery of the headless knight in the song With Eaque Sword.

METALLIAN: Many do not see Zeus as a 'malevolent' force, but rather as a god with two sides. Would you say you are decided that he was unkind and evil?
MIKE: I think that Zeus was indeed a two-faced god, a good one and a diabolical one. In fact, the idea the ancients had of their gods was completely different from the ideas that today's believers have of the god they worship, be it Jesus, Allah or another one. For ancient Greeks, Zeus was an almighty divinity who dominated the world and ruled it from Mount Olympia.
He gained this status after the war against the titans which we deal with on our album. Men worshipped him and to make sure he wouldn't get angry with them and ordain terrible disasters sacrificed animals to honour him. That is quite different from the modern gods who forgive sins and send their worshippers to heaven. Zeus was an all-powerful god who doesn't hesitate to destroy and kill if men disobeyed. That is why Olympian gods may sometimes seem cruel towards someone they consider to be guilty of something - see the Sisyphus myth for example. Nevertheless, these gods are also able to be grateful to humans and help them in times of war when they consider them to be worthy. Such examples can explain the fact that Olympian gods are two-faced. Now, it is true that we mostly deal with their malevolent side in our lyrics. It certainly gives our music an aggressive and violent edge.

METALLIAN: In general, what is mythology's lesson for us present in the modern world?
MIKE: The most terrible teaching that we can learn from mythology is that nothing has changed since the ancient days! Men are still at war with each other for power and world domination. I think that it is absolutely terrifying. However, it mustn't be forgotten that mythology deals with supernatural stories so it is very difficult to draw a lesson that could be applied to our modern world. However, without knowing it, we have inherited a lot from the ancient times, such as the expressions which we often use like Achilles heel. Although we do not know their original meanings.

METALLIAN: The band's approach is fascinating and original. Are all you guys fascinated by Greek mythology or is it just one of you guys who drives the concept and the theme?
MIKE: We are all, more or less, interested in mythology. I am terribly interested in it because I am a student in ancient history at university. Tems who wrote all the lyrics was also crazy about the myths and the other members of the band are also interested in the topic as well, even if it is to a smaller extent. Anyway, we are all content to deal with these topics.

METALLIAN: To say the least. Therefore, are the band's areas of interest only in the realm of fantasy? Or does the band keep an eye on current affairs and contemporary politics?
MIKE: Well, we keep an eye on what happens in our country and in the world. We are citizens of the world so we think we have to take an interest in what's going on. For us it is a big mistake not to be concerned about what happens around us and we always try to avoid that kind of behaviour.

METALLIAN: Seeing that you are also aware of the contemporary world, what do you think of the current schism between France/Germany/Canada, among others, on one side and UK/US on the other?
MIKE: This is a very difficult question. I think the United States should pay more attention to the point-of-view of other countries before they lead with their policy. America behaves as if they run an empire and consequently sometime despises other countries' opinions. Now even if there are stupid tensions between Canada, Germany and France on one side and the USA and the UK on the other side, I think we are all confronted by terrorist attacks and we'd better work together instead of criticising one another.
I do think that the attitude of some American citizens is absolutely shameful because they spend their time talking rubbish about the French just because their country sometimes disagrees with ours. Any opinion should be accepted and respected and the best solutions to a problem can be found in debate and not in criticism. So to all those who try to impose their opinion as if they were the kings of the world, I have one thing to say: go to hell!
I'd like to live in a world of cooperation and fraternity between countries even if they don't share the same culture because before being English, French, American, Muslim or Jew we are all human beings.

METALLIAN: Thank you very much for your time and your interesting answers. What are your current news and plans?
MIKE: At the moment, we are looking for as many concerts as possible across Europe to promote our album. By the way, if anyone is interested in helping us play, just contact us!
We also intend to release different merchandising items related to our second album like T-shirts, sweat-shirts, girlies, posters and so on. Finally, we will start writing new songs for a potential third album because we can't rest on our laurels, can we?

Kronos is a band with the right music, right lyrics and an attitude to match. To find out more about singer Kristof, guitarists Richard and Grams, bassist Tom and drummer Mike please visit the act's web presence at http://kronosbrutaldeath.free.fr.
Kronos