Absolute Design

SPV 2008

Sweden is mostly known for old school death metal (Stockholm), Melodic death metal (Gothenburg), and devastating black metal.  Now with Engel's debut album Absolute Design the country is striving to make a mark in the Metalcore scene.  Though this release comes from artists birthed in the womb of Melodic death metal there is almost no melody here.  Instead you will find lots of Nu-metal with alternating harsh and clean vocals with tight riffing and the occasional industrial flourish.  Propaganda is one of the few times there is any sort of aggression and the track possess a punchy main riff.  Hints of Katatonia surface on the initial stages of Descend though with less impact or emotional depth.  I'm The One has a bouncy melody that brings to mind In Flames though it seems somehow to have less impact.  Seven Ends closes out the album in the same fashion as it began and I am left feeling like I wish I hadn't forced myself to endure this.  There are times when hints of Meshuggah-esque mathematical metal threatens to surface but this never truly materializes.  At times the clean vocals are overly poignant such as on The Paraclete and on the chorus of I'm The One.  Boring and tired, I cannot stomach what Engle is offering.  This type of music is not my cup of tea and I do not find it interesting or "cutting edge."  It is sincerely commercial and that is all.  Fans of bands with similar musical inclinations can seek out releases from Static-X and their ilk.  Though I don't know why anyone would.