Poison and Fire

Architects of Doom Find A Niche in the Dayton Metal Scene

By Gary Spencer

Many people reading this probably don’t know about Dayton-based heavy metal quartet Architects of Doom … yet.  Relative newcomers to the Dayton metal scene, A.O.D. has only been active for roughly a year now and even in that short period of time, the band has accomplished more than most new bands, having played roughly a dozen shows as well as recording and releasing their debut EP entitled The Apparatus.  To this reviewer’s ears, A.o.D.’s sound recalls classic thrash from the ‘80s, akin to bands such as Destruction, Slayer, and Sepultura but with a starker, darker overtone to the musical proceedings.  Mix some musical homage to late ‘80s/early ‘90s hardcore with the occasional tremolo-picked riff that would sound at home on a black metal record and you might have a good impression of what Architects of Doom are capable of.  I got the opportunity to speak with A.O.D. guitarist Danny Ball and lead vocalist/lyricist Ron Wagers about their musical endeavor, and here are the results.

Please give me a brief history of the band.

I formed A.O.D. back in Feb. of 2011 with Hobie Adams, my old drummer from our previous band, Rules of Defiance.  I found Shawn Woodson, our bass player, through another drummer I was jamming with a while back.  It took us a while to find a vocalist.  I hit Ron Wagers up and he was down from the get go. Ron and I were in Sema Shen Kefa, a Dayton hardcore band back in the mid ‘90s and I thought it would be cool to jam together again. [Danny Ball]

How would you describe Architects of Doom, musically and conceptually?

Loud, abrasive, and in your face! I talk about the dark sides of life — murder, torture, death, etc.  We just write heavy music! [Ron Wagers]

A.O.D. is a throwback to golden days of hardcore and metal … our influences are all over the map.  I like old school hardcore — Bad Brains, Agnostic Front, the old NYHC … and I listen to a lot of Oi like The Oppressed and The Business. I grew up listening to lots of ‘80s and ‘90s thrash like D.R.I., Sepultura, D.B.C. Kreator, etc. Shawn our bass player is a younger guy and digs a lot of the newer stuff, and also loves his funk and blues.  Ron is into Death, Grind, and Prog metal, but the drummer is old school, Iron Maiden all the way.  I believe we’re the only band in Dayton doing this style of metal — I think we accomplished our goal on that.  [DB]

What is your songwriting and rehearsal process like? 

Danny usually has riffs … I tend to arrange them.  Shawn or I might have riffs or sections to add. We write it down on a dry erase board so we don’t forget what we mapped out!  [RW]

I always have a riff or two on the backburner … constantly writing, working on theory … Eastern scales and such … always helps to keep things fresh. [DB]

Tell me about A.O.D’s debut EP, The Apparatus.

We recorded our EP here in Dayton. We did it in like 7 hours … so it’s not as polished as we would like it to be. But hey, money was tight and it was all DIY! Brian Whitten recorded us, that dude rules. I recommend that place, real laid back. [DB]

We booked some time with Whitten in June 2011 at Center City Studios and wham bam thank you ma’am! We plan on going back and working with Brian real soon! [RW]

What’s the feedback been like for your new EP?

Feedback has been real good.  One time I was in a Kroger parking lot and was jamming our EP in my friend’s car and this dude in the next car overheard us, knocked on our window asking who that band was … I said it was my band and he was floored!  That made my day. He came out to 2 of our shows. [DB]

I loved the sample from Young Frankenstein at the beginning of The Apparatus.  Whose idea was that? 

I’m glad you mentioned that! Hobie loves that damn movie, like more than any other movie ever.  It was all his idea. That sample fits perfectly with our opening track, “Summoning the Dead (Zombie Christ)” — goes well with the lyrics. I want to sample something from Slingblade on our upcoming full length, that movie has the best one-liners!  [DB]

Please describe your live show.   What might you say to an uninitiated party to entice them to come see your band in concert?

We have a good time on stage and I think it shows — we never take ourselves too seriously. People that come out always have a good time … no fights yet!  Someone that’s never seen us before will be taken back to the golden days when hardcore and metal was at its peak … no gimmicks, no girl jeans. [DB]

You will get a raw hunk of hardcore meat to chew on and leave with a bloodthirst for more!   [RW]

What does the future hold for Architects of Doom?

We hope it involves touring, recording and doing what we love! [RW]

Being in a band is like being married to 3 smelly, grumpy bastards. We are all very different from each other but somehow we make it work.  If a band can stick together through tough times and still come out thrashing then, yeah … it just might work out.  Getting signed to a label would be ideal … mini tour … more merch. If I can make rent playing my guitar, then I have won at life. [DB]

Architects of Doom perform at Hammerjax, 111 East Fourth Street in downtown Dayton.  I Died Trying, My Latex Brain, N.D.E.X. and Doctor Meat are also on the bill.  The show is 18 and up.  Concert begins at 9pm and the cover is $5. 

Reach DCP freelance writer Gary Spencer at Gary Spencer@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Gary Spencer is a graduate of Miami University and works in the performing arts, and believes that music is the best. Contact him at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com

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