Please tell us a few words about the new release, about the music on it as a whole or a few words on each track in part. How are you happy with the final release?
I would say this album sums up the past 2 years and this current moment in time for me lyrically and musically. We wrote an album we ourselves would want to listen to if we were fans and that is what we always try to do. Rather than writing all about misery and struggle, I also included a positive approach, hence the title “Epiphany”. In July of 2016, I recently had my third intense neck and upper back surgery which involved an extreme recovery. Due to a side effect of neuropathy in my hand from nerve damage, for about 6 months I could barely hold a guitar pick without dropping it. That did not stop me though as I continued to keep trying. I took a chance and ended up trying a banjo thumb pick, which to my surprise kept the pick in my hand because it wraps around the finger. It has more of a twangy sound to it and I do not know anyone else who uses it to play metal but it definitely works for me. Maybe I am onto something here, who knows.
Track 1- Selfish Backstabber- the first music video and single for the album. This is a nice “thrashy upbeat tune” with lyrics of extreme dislike towards a person who will turn on you for their own personal gain no matter the circumstance. Trust never comes easy and is a topic I have often come across throughout my existence.
Track 2- Dispatch the Threat- Another in your face mix of thrash and groove. Vocally I experimented a little on this one. I am curious to see how this one is perceived. Lots of screaming and almost falsetto like vocals mixed with clean ones. Lyrically it is about unleashing harm to an enemy metaphorically in other ways rather than actual violence. The threat is meant to cause fear and trauma the same way I felt it caused by their actions in the past. I want the enemy to taste and experience my own discomfort. This might be my favorite track on the album.
Track 3- Lethal Injection- Here is a mid-tempo catchy metal song. I think this one flows very smooth and will be a hit with the live audience. There are lots of parts and riffs on this one that happen very fast. When I wrote the riffs for this, I just wanted to keep it moving as if I was in the crowd. This song is about not wanting to die or fade away, but overall trying to make things better with a metaphor of actual suicidal intentions. There are themes of identity crisis mixed with contemplation written all over it. This might be another single off the album.
Track 4- Epiphany- This song is the title track of the album and really sums up lyrically how I perceive reality and my future. “Everything was getting worse. I ignored a battlefield….etc.. I have woke up from a coma, sleep was just an easy excuse” I talk a lot about the past and how I suffered but with an ultimate goal in mind. I want this experience to grow into something better and my recovery symbolizes change and improvement that results in succeeding. It is about the moment of clarity where my perception has changed. This will be the second single and will have a lyric video coming out shortly. It is very upbeat, thrashy and catchy but still comes back and forth with crushing grooves in the mid-section.
Track 5- The Criminal Inside— It is a straight forward metal song with a catchy chorus, a blistering rhythm in the bridge and grooves throughout. The song starts out with a cool upbeat hammer-on riff which has the Kaos Reign signature sound to it. I tried some more clean vocals throughout the verse that differs a lot from past songs in rhythm. The lyrics talk about a dark time in a romantic relationship and sums up the outcome of setting off into the sun set together. It is definitely a personal one for me.
Track 6- Parasite- I really like the riffs and the way this one flows. I think it has more riffs and parts than any other song. This may not be a single but it is still a really good one. Imagine Death meets Pantera, meets old school Sepultura. That’s how I see it, but you all may see it another way. It’s a long story and gets pretty deep in thought, check it out. I am sure many can relate.
Track 7- Under the Knife- One of my favorite songs which has the fastest tempo of 215 BPM. It does not waste any time as it starts off with some double bass drums and a thrash metal riff. The verse grooves and the bridge is melodic on guitar and the vocals go along with a consistent killer drum beat. This is another song with a lot of parts. The song is about me on the way to having neck surgery, the moment right before and what I was thinking. I had no idea if I was going to come out alive and from what I heard I almost did not. It took over four hours to complete this horrific procedure this time around.
Track 8- Everyone is Offended- This is the most rhythm oriented song off the album I think. It jams out and has some of my favorite riffs in it of all the songs. The lyrics talk about both sides of modern times. We live in a day and age where everyone is taking things too seriously and I thought it was time to stand up to it just a little. I don’t talk about politics and my opinion too much and this is just a brief song to lighten the load. People do not always realize the psychology of how they are perceived for their opinions.
Track 9-How Do You Sleep at Night- It is the first song I wrote guitar riffs and parts to. I think after “Screaming for Salvation” came out in 2016 I had just wrote it. The lyrics are personal to me and I’ll leave the interpretation up to the listener.
Track 10-Punish Myself- Another straight forward metal song on the album that has all the elements. I think my drummer referred to it as reminding him of Strapping Young Lad, Devin Townsend’s metal band from back in the day. The lyrics are pretty personal but started out when a friend asked me to give him a ride to work and back for a couple days while I was out of work. This was a longer ride than I thought it would be and my compensation was not really worth the time nor was it appreciated. I pretty much “Punished Myself” so to speak.
Track 11-Placebo-I would say this one reminds me of Crowbar meets doom and groove with a sprinkle of my other side project band Murder Castle. This song stands out in a different way I guess. Lyrics relate to a struggling addiction that tears you apart because it was created by your own way of handling it. In the end you were just a study on paper and the outcome is suffering, struggle and will power.
Track 12-Isolation Chamber-If we had a ballad of some sort, this would be it. I call this the cliff hanger of the album. It is the doomiest song of all. This has lyrics of solitude, survival and how to cope with the secrets that haunt you. I sing more than scream on this one and it has a clean verse and heavy chorus and bridge. I thought it was a great way to end the album. It opens doors for the next release some random day in the future.
We are very pleased with how this album turned out as a whole. I think we perfected our sound and progressed even more than the last one. This time we had a full band during the recording as well. Last time I played the bass as we did not have a bassist at that time. Matt Duggan definitely helped round out the sound and added a new flavor to this album with his bass takes and style. Chris Anderson really nailed on drums too. Even the recording went very smooth as I think we improved on it doing it ourselves. I think the songwriting came out better too. We wrote it a little different than the past by mapping it out from home and sending the ideas back and forth rather than in the room. We all live an hour or so away from each other and it is not so easy to get together. Maybe next time we will just go back to bringing ideas in the room, who knows. “There is no wrong way to eat a Reese’s”
How would you describe/label the music on it? Does it sound like anything we might have heard before?
I am not sure to this day how to describe it which I think is a good thing. It is metal for sure but I do not think it fits in a category. In the past some people tried to call it Groove Metal and that was never our intention. I think it is more thrashy than groovy in some ways but it covers all ground in metal music. Every song we try to use different tempos and elements. I like to think it is open minded metal. We try to make it memorable too. A lot of modern bands have strayed away from that and focus on being the most technical or what not but that was never our thing. We want it to be something we ourselves would listen to and enjoy to play. My biggest influences these days would be bands such as Death, Ihsahn, Soundgarden, Testament, Crowbar, Slayer, C.O.C, Exodus, Carcass, Arch Enemy, Vader, Dark Tranquility, The Melvins, Iron Maiden, Overcast, Strapping Young Lad, etc. The list goes on and it is pretty open minded within the metal genre.
Where was it recorded and how much time did it take you to record it? Any interesting stories from the recording/producing the material?
We actually did this recording ourselves. I originally recorded all the parts to a drum machine and click first and then sent them to Chris where he recorded the drums at his house on an 8 track digital machine where he mixed it on his computer. After that it was sent to me where I did the rest of it on my recording software. Matt would come by my house before practice and do 1-3 songs a day on bass. I think it took us 2-4 months to finish once we really got started. Every time we do this we always learn more and more. It is a process that I actually enjoy believe it or not. Sometimes your impatience can be your worst enemy but it always comes out good in the end if you put your heart into it.
What can you tell us about the cover artwork? Is there a link between the artwork and the lyrics?
The train tracks symbolize the progression and path to our goals. I think we are heading in a positive place which differs from all the struggle and rock bottom we were recently part of. It is almost a stairway to what we create for ourselves. I was playing with good old Photoshop and put together the pieces before it was finalized and this was what I came up with that we all agreed upon by the end. I think it is a good face for the album.
What are the topics of your lyrics?
Basically it is about current events and topics in my life I want to discuss at this moment in time. My perception is more positive this time around I think but still relates to struggle in some way.
What do you expect to gain through this release? What are the band's aims at the moment?
I would like to gain more fans and have a good time overall expressing our art. I think if more metalheads heard it, most of them will like it. If they do not and it is not their cup of tea, I understand. I do it for the art of expression, as a hobby and it is a big part of my lifestyle. I do not know if I ever will stop. I cannot imagine life without creating and performing music. All of us in this band have done this for a long time. As a band we hope this album is heard by as many people who listen to metal as possible.
Is there a special format the material is released in? Or is it released in multiple formats? How many copies were pressed?
As of now the album will be released digitally and on CD via my own label Skumbagh Productions on April 2nd. We pressed a good amount for now and all we have to do is press a button to get more pressed if needed. If all goes well, we may do some vinyl also. Let’s see how it goes.
Where and how will you promote this new release?
Everywhere possible that helps promote metal. We are working on that now. If anyone has any ideas for us, send us a Facebook message.
Where can we order it from?
Also you can order it from CDBABY, BANDCAMP, I TUNES, AMAZON, SPOTIFY, and all the big websites online.