Engel – Absolute Design (2008)

Engel – Absolute Design (2008, SPV)

  1. In Splendour
  2. Casket Closing
  3. Next Closed Door
  4. The Hurricane Season
  5. Propaganda
  6. The Paraclete
  7. Scyth
  8. Descend
  9. Trial & Error
  10. I’m The One
  11. Calling Out
  12. Seven Ends

Band Lineup:
Niclas Engelin – Guitars
Marcus Sunesson – Guitars
Mangan Klavborn – Vocals
Michael Hakansson – Bass
Mojjo – Drums

Producer: Anders Fridén

Total Time = 46:42

Engel official website
Engel MySpace page
SPV USA

(NOTE — ABSOLUTE DESIGN was released in Europe in late 2007, the U.S. release was May 20, 2008)

Engel is a band from Gothenberg, Sweden that plays Melodic Death Metal with Industrial influences. Usually I can’t get by the growling vocals and overdone blastbeats of Death Metal but I do like some and I find that the Melodic sub-genre of Death is more to my preference when done well. As for Industrial, I don’t like sequencing, sampling, and synth overclogging my Metal, it’s too Nu-Metal (Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach) for me and I’m more of a traditionalist.

Right away I noticed that the songs have more to do with the Nu-Metal and Metalcore movements than actual Death Metal. There are those trademark growling vocals (sometimes) but most of the vocals are clean and remind me of Linkin Park and the like. Actually, the growls are better than the clean vocals but the screams sound processed and not guttural. The background vocals seem out of place as well. I also don’t like the down-tuned guitars and the lack of speed. Good Death Metal has at least some element of Thrash to it and this sounds more like every other trendy band out there. Nothing really jumps out and makes me take notice, aside from the band members’ pedigrees: In Flames, The Crown, Evergrey.

Bottom Line:
Nothing really impressed me and I really tried to enjoy this album. I must have listened to this CD a couple dozen times over the course of the last few days and all I could picture in my head was some of the bands I’d seen on Ozzfest — Papa Roach, Linkin Park, Static-X, Incubus, Drowning Pool, Limp Bizkit, Korn. Everything sounds the same to my ears and, if I want to hear down-tuned guitars and a light mix of growls, screams, and clean vocals, I can turn on the local Rock stations that specialize in this type of music. I knew I should have known better when I saw pictures of the band with matching outfits!

Favorite songs: none