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Mathy metal/hardcore act CHAOS REIGNS blends dizziness and jarring rhythms on their new EP

CHAOS REIGNS band by Si Jones
Over the course of 20+ years, mathcore and chaotic hardcore has established itself as one of the most exciting and brain melting types of heavy music, running their intense exercises through many subgenres and dropping dozens of influential releases. The city of London hasn’t had a twisted hardcore band go quite as hard as our today’s guests, CHAOS REIGNS, in a while, and we’re stoked to give you the full stream of their new caffeinated EP “A Horrific Accident”, along with a full track by track feature! The crazy 5-tracker draws influence from the likes of Every Time I Die, The Ghost of a Thousand, Cancer Bats, and some heavier chaotic hardcore acts, while their live stage presence has been likened to Heck and The Dillinger Escape Plan. Join the riotously good fun below and be sure to grab it through their Bandcamp this Friday!

We wanted this EP to serve as a good showcase of what we are as a band. Lots of noise, chaos and some very silly riffs. As it is only five tracks long we felt it best to focus on our fastest, most chaotic tracks, and it features our strongest material to date. If our debut EP is Reservoir Dogs, then this is most certainly Pulp Fiction. Although that makes our follow up Jackie Brown…

Asked about their future shows and new music in the works, the band commented:

We have a launch show booked in London on August 23rd at The Dev in Camden with a fantastic line-up, but other than that, looking for more shows! We’re currently writing material for our next release, which is only going to be weirder and more Dillinger-esque, so we want to play across the country and spread our name as far and wide as possible before our next record.

CHAOS REIGNS cover

CHAOS REIGNS are: Joe Griffin – Guitars; Max Maxwell – Drums; Lorinc Meszaros – Guitars; Billy Padmore – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals; Daniel Tolley – Lead Vocals. Recording credits: Paul Collins – Additional Vocals on “Swan”; All music and lyrics written and performed by Chaos Reigns; Produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Jason Wilson at Stakeout Studios; Cover design by Billy Padmore. Music video for “Swan” directed and edited by Johnny Barker of Projectors & Collectors; “Swan” music video by James Monteith and Darren Gosling of Hold Tight! PR

Fight/Flight:

(Dan) Is what it says on the tin, lyrically. On the whole it’s about overcoming fears no matter how small or great they may seem. Liam Cormier is a massive influence on my songwriting, especially songs like Deathsmarch and PMA til I’m DOA where there’s a big sense of overcoming obstacles and being resilient, which I guess stands out on this track.

(Billy) I wanted to write a song that would be the perfect set/album opener, one that says ‘oh shit, this band aren’t mucking around’. (sic) by Slipknot springs to mind, there’s no long, meandering intro, it’s just chaos from the get go. While it might not be apparent in the style of music, Slipknot are a big inspiration when it comes to songwriting, particularly in the early days. Despite being super heavy, they still have these pop sensibilities, and I think that’s super important even when writing heavy and abrasive music. It’s all well and good being super technical, but people aren’t going to remember your riffs if they’re too complicated.

(Max) This is one of our oldest songs, and our go to opener live. We always want to hit people in the face straight away, so it was the obvious choice to open the EP. The opening squall of feedback is a nod to Abandon All Life by Nails, which starts similarly.

Far off and like a dream:

(Dan) This song was crafted as a response to when I had an episode of burnout and my first real experience with poor mental health. Matthew Johnstone’s idea of the black dog is also referenced with the personification of ill mental health.

(Billy) This song is probably the most conventional on this EP, it just started with the Comeback Kid style drumming at the beginning and the song built from there. It’s a pretty old school style track overall, but still threw in a Gojira-style string rake that a lot of hardcore bands are doing now, just to prove we can. Did it once, now we can move on.

(Max) One of our fastest songs, and one of the most fun to play from a drum perspective. The first two grooves in this are pretty much traditional hardcore grooves – as a fan of classic hardcore I liked putting that in there as a little nod amongst all the modern-day stuff.

Swan:

(Dan) Black Swan moments have fascinated me with ‘what could have been’ and how they shape everyone’s life in that I think everyone has a moment that is unexpected yet great things come from it. Life can seemingly drop a bomb that shatters you but if you look close enough and reflect you’ll be able to see life again when the dust settles and things may even be better than before.

(Billy)We released this track as a single and so far the response has been great (might just be the music video though, maybe people hate the track!). There’s a lot going on in this song, from trashy-tremolo picking moments, to System Of A Down style silliness, to all the instruments doing what they want essentially, but somehow it works.

(Max) This song has all the elements that characterise us as a band to me. It’s dissonant and horrible harmonically, there’s fast manic stuff as well as some flat out grooviness, there’s the creative instrumentation, there’s some huge catchy hooks in the vocals. And that last riff is an absolute MONSTER. Hats off to Billy for that one. It’s also one of the few of our songs that have an actual, bona fide breakdown. Breakdowns are so often overused and relied upon in hardcore, so we wanted to use them sparingly. When done right however there’s nothing better, and having Skinny P from MTXS (great friends of ours) lend his vocals to this one was the cherry on the cake

Wasted Breath:

(Dan) This was written to help me deal with the grief of losing a close family member that I greatly admired. My love for this person was only matched by my frustration of how they chose to live out their last years on this mortal coil.

(Billy) I like to think of this song as our Bohemian Rhapsody (although obviously much better). There’s so many sections to this, most of which are pretty odd rhythms, yet to me the most shocking part is the Hatebreed style riff haha! I believe the real challenge to making angular music is making 4/4 sound bumpy rather than using odd time signatures, and I feel we got pretty close with this song.

(Max) Probably one of the weirdest songs in our canon. There’s not one repeating section through its entire length, much to the chagrin of our vocalist, Dan. The “drum-solo” section took a little while to come together: Billy, our main-songwriter just had those ringing chords in the guitars and wanted some chaotic, Ben Koller style drums underneath. I did my best to invoke that spirit, but had to add a little Dave Garibaldi style fill at the end because I LOVE ME SOME T.O.P.

Digital Lives:

(Dan) This song was reworked from a previous incarnation from me being equally annoyed and fascinated with the rise of social media and how it has changed our lives in the most monumental of ways. Irony is you’re probably reading this through social media.

(Billy) Much like Fight/Flight was written as an opener, Digital Lives was written as a closer. Mastodon were a big influence on this, hence the abundance of riffs. I particularly enjoy the interplay between lead and backing vocals on this track, really utilises the benefits of sharing vocals.

(Max) Another oldie, and another live favourite of ours. Normally we put it at the end of the set, because what else can follow that final riff? Frequently the thing everyone leaves rehearsal humming. Again, shout out to Billy, our riff god.

Scroll down for the lyrics…

Fight / Flight

Not again, it’s shown its face and now you’re lost for the words.
Like last time, it’s shown its face and you know you should stand tall.
Speechless, tongue-tied. Cornered with nowhere to hide.
Barren, inside. Two choices: fight or take flight.
My mind is telling me to fly, but I will stay and fight.
Don’t let your demons drag you down.
So tell me why so scared, of this. You know this moment won’t be your last.
Eyes wide, caught in the headlights.
Mouth dry, no remedy to help me.
Lost my will to get through this.
Greatness lives on the other side of fear.
You have only two choices.
I can’t, I can’t, I can’t stand up.
I push, I push, I will push on.
No-one can stop me.
Fight or flight.
Don’t let your demons drag you down.
So tell me why so scared, of this. You know this moment won’t be your last.
So tell me why so scared, of this. You know this moment won’t kill you.

Far Off and Like a Dream

I hate everything I am.
Not everything I was, or anything I could be.
I just overthink, a shadow’s following me.
From time to time, I just can’t see the light.
I hate me, I hate this, I hate everything.
Feeling like, there’s no escape.
No exit from what my mind dictates.
From time to time, I just can’t see the light.
I hate me, I hate this, I hate everything.
You’re in sight, it’s baring down on you.
Put up your barriers, but it will always break through.
You try and try, but you can’t escape.
Your time’s up. You’ve run out.
There’s no light. There’s nothing. There’s no light.
I’m lost in my own thoughts. Racing round my head.
Can’t break free, I can’t break free.
Consumed by paranoia and dread.
Can’t get this pressure to stop, stop.
It’s been creeping, into every aspect of life.
So slowly, it haunts me.
Consumed by paranoia and dread.
Can’t get this pressure to stop, stop.
You’re in sight, it’s baring down on you.
Put up your barriers, but it will always break through.
You try and try, but you can’t escape. Your time’s up. You’ve run out.
I’m too ashamed to see, what has become of me.
I’ve been strong for so long, but this can’t go on.
I’m too ashamed to see, what has become of me.
I don’t want to burn out, I need to burn bright. Burn bright.
Don’t burn out. Burn bright. Don’t burn out.
I hate me. I hate this. I hate everything.

Swan

This is not deja-vu. These moments I will review.
Starts with pure confusion, leading to delusion.
Feeling like a failure, I just can’t seem to get a win.
What was nailed upon the door had me falling through the floor.
And I can’t get back up to where I was before.
All of this time, I never questioned my own mind.
Where did it all go wrong?
This is not deja-vu. These moments I will review.
And now I’m trapped inside, the reasons are not clear.
Thoughts running wild fuelling anger and fear.
I’m filled with anger and fear. How did I end up here?
My life is falling apart. Crushing me. I can’t make sense of it.
I am aware that I am not the only one to have something so good turn out to be so bad.
It’s happened before, and it’ll happen again. Will it ever end?
‘Cause on reflection I see light illuminate what was dark in my life.
These tough times can only lead to better days. Better days.
These tough times only lead to better days.
These are the times that define us
We’re all just hopelessly waiting our turn
It’s like that life’s always bringing me down
But I know there will be lessons to learn
It takes courage and hindsight to see
Whatever will be will be
There’s no such thing as a clean victory
Try to look forward, not at history.
I know, I know. Things will work out eventually
I know. I know. Won’t let this black swan destroy me.
I know, I know. Things will work out eventually
I know. I know. Won’t let this black swan destroy me.

Wasted Breath

Don’t waste what is left.
If this is who we are, our lives written in the stars.
Can we find our way in the dark?
Watching old life pass, through these young eyes.
It’s easy to see how opportunity passes by.
This post-life, cold stasis found.
Don’t want to end up like you, forever find new ground.
What happened to the spark you had when you were younger?
You lost that hunger
Engine stalled, stuck on pause.
You’re about to lose it all.
What is this curse that you’ve been placed under?
You’re not yourself
Look inside, break free of your chains
Reignite the flame.
Don’t give up. Life goes on…
To bigger and better things. Our wildest dreams.
Are only achieved. When you truly believe.
So don’t lose hope. Got to show.
When the world turns cold. You can make it on your own.
You can make it on your own.
I want out…
From this wasted life, that I’ve been living.
From this living hell that’s been unforgiving.
From this wasted life, that I’ve been living.
From this living hell that’s been unforgiving.
To my family, I’ll be at peace.
To my brothers, please don’t forget me.
You can’t tell me how to live my life, you’ll only waste your breath.

Digital Lives

There was a time when we would look back, at the memories we all know.
Dust off all the old albums tinted with sepia and monochrome.
Gather friends round to laugh at the crazy things that we used to do.
Our best times are always treasured, the worst times just don’t make it through.
Kept safe, behind glass doors, locked away for a century.
No purpose without sentiment, just another accessory.

Time, time changes us from the people that we used to be.
This life is too short lived to get hung upon memories.
So we sit, update, ‘cause we don’t want to miss a thing.
Get likes, feel loved and wait for the warmth it brings.
We have cured amnesia.
We’ve created time travel.
Live our lives through screens and wires.
Download. Our lives.
If we wake up suddenly with no memory.
At least we know we’re not lost in reverie.
Close all existence and look forward to when we die.
Live on forever, through respiratory AI.

We’re all dying, from our very first breath.
Disease, cancer, we’ve not much time left.

Our digital lives, controlling me.
Our digital lives, it’s all I can see.
Our digital lives, no more sanity.
Our digital lives, taking over me.
Taking over me.

We know, on our death beds, we look back.
On our death beds, we look back.

Mathy metal/hardcore act CHAOS REIGNS blends dizziness and jarring rhythms on their new EP
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