Logo Scars Of Chaos

Of musicality in languages wrapped in chaos

The second full length "Humanitarian War Machine" by SCARS OF CHAOS is not to be digested easily. But convoluted song structures and bilingual lyrics are as well results of deliberate steps as the renaming from Daemonic Alchemy to SCARS OF CHAOS. Guitarist DarkOne provides an insight into the world of the symphonic extreme metal of the French.

Everything starts with Daemonic Alchemy in 1997 with the line-up Angelus (keys), Evil Tongue (vocals), Horde (drums), Sardius (bass), Frost (guitars) and DarkOne. Four demos enter this world, und finally being in the Drudenhaus studio in 2002, SCARS OF CHAOS can seriously imagine releasing an album for the first time."Another promo was released in 2003 and things seemed to develop pretty well. We signed a very interesting deal with an English label which unfortunately did not fulfil its obligations - especially in financial terms. So we ended up with a heap of debts which had to be settled with the studio which almost resulted in the end of the band. The following albums were released as SCARS OF CHAOS." The renaming from Daemonic Alchemy to SCARS OF CHAOS has several, comprehensible reasons as DarkOne explains. "First of all it's the consequence of a contractual problem. The year following the washout with the first deal we have reached the point to give up the band but an American label contacted us again and we opted to 'set the table again'. As the English contract has still been effective, as one of our founding members - Frost - wasn't with us anymore and as we felt the desire to give it another try we decided to change the name. SCARS OF CHAOS matches exactly the essence of the music as well as the lyrics, and into the bargain it also sounds good."

Scars Of Chaos Band
Picture provided by Black Square Records

What doesn't really seem to fit when you listen to "Humanitarian War Machine" the first time is the cover artwork. "Well, we thought about that thoroughly and we wanted to separate ourselves from the usual artworks for this kind of music. So we gave Gui from viciousart.com total freedom to come up with something off the beaten track. Furthermore our lyrics are neither inspired by the Middle Ages, nor borrowed from religious folklore." Besides the artwork SCARS OF CHAOS also leave other well-known paths, abandon the corpse paint and shift their lyrical inspirations. "We do not listen to only one kind of music, and Black Metal is a mentality, which can be found in the lyrics as well as in the attitudes of the band. It emerged the we - apart from some influences in our music - do not share this mentality. This doesn't mean that we don't appreciate Black Metal but we feel less restricted this way. There was a time when our lyrics contained more clichés, eminently on the demos of the Daemonic Alchemy era. But we have to admit that there was not much substance behind that. Today it's different. It suffices to behold your own surroundings to find inspiration. The hypocrisy, the free will to submission to superiour powers, may they be human or not, the blindness to the indirect consequences of our doings... I do not criticise human nature but the fact that those who occupy the moral high ground cause more ill than the others. I know this sounds pretty vague but I want everyone to form his own view on every track." This could be foredoomed by the fact that the lyrics of SCARS OF CHAOS often consist of English and French parts. "In regards to the sound, the musicality of every language, there are passages which seem to be predestined for the French or English language. This adds a certain drive to the chant and to the meaning of the lyrcis. The French parts are generally dimmer and more severe in their essence. I know it must be frustrating for those who don't understand the language."

The music, however, has its own and often erratic drive which holds the risk of losing the thread. "We have always been having a faible for complex music as you can listen to the tracks over and over again and still find something new in them. Obviously it's not easy to listen to the album in one go and we will not argue the converse. But I think that you will get something for your money this way. The other reason for this convoluted aspect in our music can be found in our eventful history. It's a way to ban all these negative things which befell us. I have hope that "Humanitarian War Machine" may also be of help to people who have to ban something in their lives." Some thing that should be banned are the endless comparisms to other bands. On the other hand, though, they can be useful to guide people who have not heard about a band to some extent. SCARS OF CHAOS, for instance, are often compared to their fellow countrymen Anorexia Nervosa as well as to bands like Dimmu Borgir. "Regarding Anorexia Nervosa we can hardly deny it although this band already existed before Anorexia Nervosa chose that style. Obviously their sound impressed us when they released their "Drudenhaus" album. As far as Dimmu Borgir is concerned we prefer the early albums which we really like. Afterwards they were not our cup of blood anymore. We do appreciate several tracks, though. Talking about keyboards I think that we can add Bal Sagoth to our influences as well as some soundtrack composers like Hans Zimmer. Besides we could mention Immolation but I don't think they're very audible in our music."

Comparing the SCARS OF CHAOS debut album "Daemonic Alchemy" with "Humanitarian War Machine" one major difference is the sound which is more natural and clearer this time. The songs are "largely a logical continuation of "Daemonic Alchemy". We had the desire to walk a bit less into the spheres of chaos before developing into another direction." The media seem to appreciate the slightly less chaotic structures as the reviews have not been that bad so far. Still, "Humanitarian War Machine" looks a bit like a 'Love it or hate it' release as people either don't get caught at all by the music or they think it's excellent. "It's hardly anywhere between which is pretty satisfying for us. We also got some very good responses from other people who laid their hands on the album, curiously more from abroad than in France." Originally ten tracks had been chosen for the album but one had to be dropped for the time being, namely "The Beyond". "It's our adaption of the soundtrack of Lucio Fulci's movie "The Beyond". This was one of the better pieces on the album. Unfortunately the authorization (or disaffirmation) of the track took too long so we had to take it off the album again. But we will certainly offer it for free download in due time." "Humanitarian War Machine" has been released on Black Square Records which is the band's own label. "We founded Black Square Records in order to try out how things work. The contacts with the distributors, media etc. It turned out - at least in France - that we are facing hard times. We also hear that from everywhere all the time. Whether we will continue with Black Square Records after this experience or not, we will know in good time. But the most important thing is that the future of the bands doesn't depend on the future of the label." For now, after the release of "Humanitarian War Machine", it should be time to promote the album live, not only in France but also abroad. "Between the label work and our occupational lives we didn't have the time to take care of live activities after the release but we will work on that. Insofar we are free to play some shows in Germany now. Of course we would like to go on tour with bands we appreciate personally, like Immolation, Suffocation, Dark Funeral, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle Of Filth, etc. But the most important factor is the crowd showing up and not with which bands we are on the road. If everything works out well we will play as many shows as possible. At the same time we have already started to prepare the next album as we prefer to be well ahead of tight time schedules. Needless to say that our keen musical ambitions are a good reason for that." The last words belong to DarkOne, of course. "Don't hesitate to check out "Humanitarian War Machine" and to let us know what you think about it."

For further information check out the SCARS OF CHAOS website or their myspace page.

Interview done by Endrew. October 17, 2007.
Thanx to Matthias Warkus for proof reading
my translations of the French answers.

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