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The Metalist za caught up with Chaos Doctrine after the release of their self-titled album.

Get to know them a little better, and take a look out the full album review here.


Let’s take a step back and dissect how some of South Africa’s finest purveyors of the metal trade decided to get together to form this band?


Hahahha! How much time do you have? Let me give you the short version.


I joined a band called DedX with my old friend Rex (Tolerance, Destrage) in 2009. He introduced me to Phil (bass / backing vox). We needed a guitarist, so I phoned up my old Malachi bandmate and close friend, Ray.

Fast forward a little bit. After DedX, I wanted to start a band that takes old school thrash and death and blends it with industrial and some newer metal influences. Ray was keen, and so was Phil. We wanted a great drummer – and who better to phone than my old friend Ralph, who I had known since the mid 90’s and always wanted to be in a band with.

The next call was to my friend Hugo Pelzer, originally from Nelspruit’s C4, to join us on guitar. Thus, the band was completed. We were originally called Subhuman Race, and later proceeded to become known as CHAOS DOCTRINE.

Ralph left Joburg at the end of 2012. We unsuccesfully tried quite a few drummers, but were delighted when he returned to Joburg last year and reclaimed his throne.

Hugo emigrated to New Zealand in 2013 and I asked guys like Ralph and my cousin, Malcolm Burger, for recommendations. One name came up again and again – Alec Surridge. He was the first guitarist we auditioned (or maybe he auditioned us, hahahahha) and he stuck!


The name, Chaos Doctrine, in itself, is quite the dichotomy. The same contrast is apparent throughout the entire album in terms of both musical style and lyrical content.

Is that something that represents the broad vision of the band – to challenge and explore and never bow down?


Most definitely – well spotted. We all engage with the world around us and we see what is wrong. Some things we can change – most things we cannot. Chaos Doctrine is about the anger and hate that is inherent to metal, but more than that – our music in general, and lyrics in particular is about poking (or rather, stabbing!) at society and saying hey, it has been thousands of years, think for yourself already. The lyrics to the track FTG is testament to this, while Cult takes a completely different angle to deliver a similar message.


Whilst Influences such as Slayer and Ministry are quite apparent, who else have influenced the Chaos Doctrine sound and the band members individually?


Definitely. For me industrial is not just about the electronics – it is about taking a good metal song (see: SLAYER) and making it better, more complex, more interesting. What we don’t do is throw loops and samples together just to see what happens! Ministry is arguably the best at that, but White Zombie’s Electric Head album is a strong contender.


The five of us listen to quite a wide variety of stuff, metal and not, which contributes to our unique style:

SLAYER is my favourite band by far, but I am also huge on old school like Sabbath, the late 80’s / 90’s metal bands like Pantera and White Zombie, some of the 80s glam like Crüe and W.A.S.P, and some of the heavier EBM / Industrial bands like Psyclon Nine. 


Ray has been blasting Gojira loud for the past year or two, but he is also huge on SLAYER, Pantera, Lamb of God, Cavalera Conspiracy, and Black Sabbath.


Alec likes the more technical metal and djent-type stuff, but also loves old school. He is big into Meshuggah, Carcass, Machine Head, Sepultura, Soreption, Gojira, Persefone, and Fit For An Autopsy.

Phil is huge on thrash and old school death metal – his list includes SLAYER, Obituary, Kreator, Vader, Death, and Behemoth.


Ralph has a long list of stuff he listens to. His favourite band is without a doubt Entombed, but he is also loves bands like Rush, Desultory, The Project Hate MCMXCIX, Torture Division, At The Gates, Dissection, W.A.S.P., and just loads more.


You have just launched your self-titled debut album. Should people come check out Chaos Doctrine to get their eardrums rocked, or to get them raptured?


Haha! Both! What we try to do with our music is to create great songs with great riffs – that happens to be very heavy. Add in some nasty industrial elements, kick ass drums and a bit of screaming from my side, and voila, you have yourself Chaos Doctrine.

When you see us live, however, we bring a different dimension to the stage – but you will have to come to the show to see what I am talking about! So see you at Mechanical Voodoo at the Good Luck Bar on 25 August, or in Botswana at the end of September!


Thanks for taking the time to chat to us!

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