Interview with Designs of Chaos

Designs of Chaos Logo

Designs of Chaos’ new EP The Darkest Storm shows once again what a fertile breeding ground the UK is for Metal bands. Let’s find out a bit more about this promising band…

For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!

We like to think of ourselves as a modern metal band from London, nothing fancy, no technical sub genre to hide behind, just plan and simple metal. Some say technical death metal, we just like to say metal. We play fast, we hit hard and we sing about stuff that has meaning to us, and we enjoy ourselves while we do it.

Give us a bit of history to Designs of Chaos

Designs of Chaos has been around for 7 or 8 years in one form or another, but we’ve only recently become the band we are today. Several members have come and gone, but it wasn’t until Jay joined as our frontman 4 years ago that we’ve felt that we were the band we wanted to be. Jay forced us to play faster and heavier than we had in the past and took us in the direction we always wanted to go. We have come a long way since our humble begins and we try to bring influences from all the members of the band to deliver the package we’ve become.

Designs of Chaos 5Where did the band name come from?

The name was thought up by a couple of ex-members, they liked the juxtaposition of the order in chaos, they pitched it to us and we liked it, it just kind stuck from then on.

What are your influences?

We have a vast array of influences, each member has quite a different background, Dean is an old school thrash head and loves bands like Exodus, old school Metallica, Sepultura and even more modern bands like Lamb of God. So we get a lot of our fast thrashy roots from his love for that style. Jay has a more modern post hardcore, technical death metal influences which is where his vocal style comes from. All the band has similar bands we all draw from like Lamb of God, Meshuggah and Metallica, so we just throw it all together and see what comes out the other side.

What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?

The new Lamb of God album is sick, plus the new Between the Buried and Me is really different. Also look out for the new Enabler album that’s pretty awesome as well.

The Darkest Storm has a much more aggressive edge to it than some of your peers – is it important to you to keep this intensity and heaviness in your sound?

That’s what we like, we’re not really into melodic vocals at the moment, we might go down that route one day, but it’s not where we are right now. We enjoy heavy and fast paced song therefore we play that style. When someone brings in a new song or a riff we all have to be feeling it to get it to work, we’re very critical of our own work like that, but we’re all in it together so we all have to like our output or it’s not going to work.

Designs  of Chaos 1You strike me as a band that would be very good live – what’s the typical Designs of Chaos show like?

We get great feedback from people at our shows, we just give 110% and really try and give people a good performance. Jay especially tries to really engage with everyone in the crowd and get everyone involved, jumping around the stage like the crazy monkey he is, we all go nuts for how ever long we’ve got, it’s exhausting at times but such a rush!

What’s your favourite song on the EP and why?

It’s fair to say we all have a special place for Darkest Storm in our hearts. For us it’s more than just a song we wrote. It was written and partially recorded right before our close friend and drummer died last year. The lyrics are about having someone there for you during tough times, so we all felt it spoke to us when we lost him, and we all drew strength from each other to get us through, what was our darkest storm.

What are the subjects/themes of the songs on this EP?

I’ve already spoken about darkest storm, but Social Phantom is about how the social media has connected us so much that we know more people than ever before and yet are just as isolated as ever. You watch vicariously as “friends” are out having fun, but they never see you, or they might interact with you online then blank you totally on the street. The social media frenzy of late is really weird and we tried to address that.

Designs of Chaos 4Give us a bit of information on your songwriting process

I’ve already touched on it really, but generally Dean or JD will bring a riff into the studio and we’ll jam it out, and start to work on the composition, Jay does all the lyrics himself and tends to wait until the song is more or less complete before finalising his lyrics, we all jam through the track as much as possible and really hammer out the dents until it’s a smooth and polished piece.

How did the recording go?

JD is a wicked recording artist, and we did all the recording with him, either in a studio or just at his home. It was the first time we’ve ever recorded in this style as historically we’ve always gone into a studio and recorded everything over the course of a couple of weekends or something so this was a little alien to what we’re used to but it allowed us more time to get everything perfect.

How do you see your songs/direction developing in the future?

Right now we have been focused on getting our last EP out to everyone, so we don’t know how our songs will form next, we’ve got a few things kicking about which we are working on, but nothing solid as of yet. We just want to make good metal songs that we and others enjoy, who knows where that thinking might take us.

What’s next for Designs of Chaos?

We’ve got a few shows lined up in the future and we’re just going to be getting out there and trying to play to as many people as possible. We’re playing Beermageddon in August and we’re all looking forward to that, then we will continue to look for shows around London, and who knows we might even get to do a UK tour in the winter.

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Designs of Chaos – The Darkest Storm (Review)

Designs of ChaosDesigns of Chaos are a UK Metal band and this is their second EP.

This short 3-track release is a 14 minute statement of intent from Designs of Chaos, and it’s clear that they mean business.

This is Modern Thrash Metal in the style of Lamb of God, As I Lay Dying, et al. It has a rightfully powerful sound, as befits bands of this nature, and sounds punchy and direct.

One of the good things about The Darkest Storm is that while bands of this ilk can easily fall foul of having too commercial a sound, Designs of Chaos largely avoid this by having a more thoroughly Metal and aggressive approach than many. Yes, the band operate in this more-commercial side of Metal more than they don’t, (such is the nature of the style), but they do it with a more aggressive and downright Metal approach than a lot of their more commercially-minded peers. This is clearly music played for the love of it and not to be the next one-hit wonder.

The songwriting is good and the riffs and structure of the songs hit the spot. I like that this has the immediacy necessary for this style but also leaves room for a bit of depth in the guitar department to allow for a more satiating musical meal, rather than one which was satisfying on first listen but quickly left you wanting something more. The band clearly want to incorporate a bit of substance to their songs and this is only to be encouraged.

Each of the songs are upbeat and feature enough speed to get the head banging and enough groove and heaviness to keep it moving.

The singer has a nicely brutal voice with the shouting and yelling coming thick and fast. It’s a raw and aggressive approach which adds a sharper edge to the band than if they would have opted for a nicer or prettier style. Some of the vocals, backing and otherwise, approach Death Metal levels and it all works really well. There is no clean singing.

Although not perfect, this is still better than most bands of this Modern Metal style and Designs of Chaos have shown massive potential and promise on this EP.

I really enjoyed this. The UK has birthed yet another band to keep a firm eye on. Let’s see what they do next.