Engel - Absolute Design
31 October 2007

01. In Splendour
02. Casket Closing
03. Next Closed Door
04. The Hurricane Season
05. Propaganda
06. The Paraclete
07. Scythe
08. Descend
09. Trial & Error
10. I Am The One
11. Calling Out
12. Seven Ends

Do you remember the band Passenger? The band released an album in 2003 and the singer was Mr Anders Friden. The music of the combo was a bit like a Nu Metal version of In Flames and Anders was accompanied on this album by Niclas Engelin (Ex: In Flames). Four years later, Niclas Engelin is back with his new project Engel, but this time without Anders (except for the production) and with a bunch of great Swedish musicians: Marcus Sunesson (ex: The Crown), Mikael Håkansson (ex: Evergrey), Daniel Moilanen (ex: Lord Belial) and finally Mangan Klavborn who is a bit more anonymous. The thing is that the recipe didn't change a lot and "Absolute Design" will not give anything new to the listeners…

"Absolute Design" is the perfect mix between Gothenburg Death Metal and Metalcore (or even Nu Metal) and you will be able to find all the ingredients of these two Metal styles. Yes, the hyper catchy and commercial choruses are present, yes the fast hyper melodic riffs are there too and of course we have breaks with clean vocals… It's really similar to the last In Flames with a really big American influence, it's not so bad but really a ton of other bands play this kind of music nowadays and even if some songs like "Seven Days" aren't so bad, it's too poor and to similar to a ton of other releases to be "good". If you really want to know my personal opinion, I just think that this album came too late… Right now we have too many other similar releases and unfortunately this is not the super line-up of the band which will save the album…

Produced by Anders Friden and Daniel Bergstrand, "Absolute Design", doesn't suffer of any problem with its sound. It's clean as hell and perfect for this kind of music. On the other hand the cover is basic as hell and near to zero… The performance of the musicians is ok though, if the voice of Mangan Klavborn is ok in its Death Metal mode, it's a bit weak and boring when the guy sings with a clean voice. If you want to know my real opinion, I have the feeling that I'm listening to some Emo/Punk American band when Mangan Klavborn sings with his clean vocals…

All in all, "Absolute Design" is not a terrible album but a forgettable one. I'm sure that the guys are able to do better things really but this time they have released only an album which clearly lacks of originality and personality. Maybe that all the ones who like Metalcore and In Flames will find an interest in this album but I'm afraid that all the others will listen to it during a week and will finally class it in the pile of the "I don't even know what it's there…" CDs. Too bad for Engel this is not convincing but let's dream a bit, after all this band is composed of great musicians and I'm sure that they will find a way to react positively!

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Production: 8

Band profile: Engel
Album: Absolute Design


written by Jeff | 14.11.2007


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Comments: 7  
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iaberis - 14.11.2007 at 16:17  
They remind me Trivium a bit... and Trivium do this a lot better...
I wouldn't buy it... way too average for me...
Baz Anderson - 14.11.2007 at 17:26  
Trivium? well I don't know them well at all but it didn't sound what I think they sound like to me
this more of a slightly electronic/industrial/whatever you want to call it - melodic death metal album

they are alright live but like Jeff says, they hardly break any barriers
b0000mst1ck - 15.11.2007 at 10:24  
i don't think these guys sound like trivium one bit. those guys are nothing more than metallica copycats anyway.

i don't fully agree with this review, either. i think these guys do a nice job of adding melodic and industrial elements to the gothenburg style without selling out and going straight metalcore. although i'll admit at times they reminisce with static x or older taproot. nonetheless i think it's a solid effort. 7.5/10.
deathovertime - 15.11.2007 at 20:20  
This band reminds me somewhat of Mnemic, they seem to have a very familiar sound to them. I saw them live on the Dimmu Borgir tour and compared to what they sound like on this CD, they sound far better live and are a dam sight more enjoyable.
iaberis - 15.11.2007 at 21:22  
4 comments, 4 different opinions!
ioannisk - 10.09.2008 at 15:59  
exactly what this album lacks in: originallity
Biddle127 - 28.09.2009 at 13:52  
Yeah I really didn't hear the Trivium in this :S.
I would have to agree with baz realy, more Industrial with melo death. It's not a bad album either, just as everyone has stated something you could easily forget about.
I hope they make a better effort for their next album.

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