Hailing from Hickory North Carolina, Flawed By Design is a Christian Heavy Metal band that creates an interesting mix of Apocalyptic/Christian themed metal that adds in different flavors of metal genres, there’s even a touch of numetal (which I’m not a fan of but it works) in there. After having gone through numerous lineup changes within the last couple of years, it looks like things have stabilized and they are due to release a new CD on 01/27/15. Good for them because if it’s anything like the two songs they have on Reverbnation then I’m curious to hear more. The members are as follows:
Tony Greer: Guitar
Shane Atkinson: Drums
Davie Huffman: Bass
Dillon Reynolds: Vocals
The first song Reverbnation is The Great Return and it’s intro is a catchy flanged guitar riff that sets the Apocalyptic tone of the song’s subject matter, which references the last days before Christ’s Return. And the lyrics do not paint a pretty picture, and if you’re paying any type of attention then you can see why, the world is a pretty fucked up place filled with war, famine, disease, economic turmoil, debt, sodom and gomorrah, religious persecution, political corruption, and and on. Regardless of or your religious/belief choices, there is no doubt (at least to me) that we are moving into a new “dark ages” of sorts, and this song is almost a reflection of the times. Yes, there is strong Christian subject matter on it, but the darkness of the delivery almost masks it. I had to listen closely to the lyrical subject matter because the song is so musically dark it masks some of the positive messages within it. It’s a good song.
The second song is New Creation and its the best of the two. This is a powerful groove metal song with a powerful vocal performance. It intros with a powerful speed metal riff, with drums pushing it forward until it changes into a killer groove metal riff. The verse is a simple little riff with a funky wah feel to it, which kicks into the groove metal riff which is the chorus. The subject matter is classic Christian metal subject matter, hence the song name being New Creation. Anyone familiar with Christian doctrine should immediately connect with the name of the song. The drums are powerful in parts, and straight forward funky at times. The double bass is well done on this song, and the bass generally does tend to lay down a groove, though it’s mixed a just little too low. It’s a great song.
Overall the production is pretty good. The instruments are clear and don’t bleed into each others frequencies for the most part. The drums are particularly well mixed as the bass drum has bottom, and the snare has a clear snappy tone. The bass does a good job of maintaining the underlying groove, though I think at times it does follow the guitars too much, but for the most part the foundation is laid and it works. Vocally this is a strong couple of songs and do not disappoint. The range is good and there good consistency in it, meaning there isn’t too much of a contrast between the clear vocals and the hard vocals. Good powerful voice too, and fits the songs really well. Guitars? Heavy, and they are a good mix of Thrash precision and groove metal funkiness. Don’t expect any shredding solos, or solos period for that matter, both songs have nothing in that regard, and I mean to the point of not even a harmony solo part, and that’s a bit disappointing.
I definitely look forward to hearing the new CD when it’s released. This is a great band that create a dark atmosphere despite being a Christian band. Check out their songs below and go like their Facebook page.