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Abstract By Design – Deceptive Identity

Abstract By Design
Deceptive Identity
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 03 August 2022, 2:20 PM

ABSTRACT BY DESIGN was formed by guitarist Rich Bova and drummer Nick Tolias in late 2018. After some significant lineup changes, the band solidified itself as a metal power trio with the addition of Billy Weisensee on bass, as well as Rich taking lead vocals in early 2020. The band’s musical influences stem from a variety of genres, the most prevalent being a unique blend of Progressive and Mainstream Metal. The album contains nine tracks.

“Beautifully Broken” is the first cut. It’s a fairly odd sound. The vocalist really doesn’t sing, but rather he narrates through mostly speaking. The music is heavy but you can also pick up on some amateur qualities. I am not getting much in the way of Progressive elements. “A.B.D.” means “all but dissertation” to doctoral candidates. The cadence of the vocals here is more of a rapped rhythm, but the vocalist still doesn’t really sing. The song is also a bit discombobulated in terms of structure. “Clairty” has more of an Alternative sound, and the vocal harmonies in the chorus are just strange. The middle section is slowed down in an area that just doesn’t make much sense.

“Secrets and Lies” features some decent bass work by Billy, but the guitar solo is all over the place. I like his tone, but not so much his direction. “Prophecy” is really very elementary, especially in the cliché lyrics. Rich sings a little more here, but is still using narration as the main medium, and it’s just not good. Phasing issues also develop here, mostly between the drums and guitars. “Call for Twisted Delusions” is back to that Alternative sound again, with a combination of rap and metal. I haven’t heard this work since the 90’s band SCATTERBRAIN. “Left Abandoned” closes the album, and it’s about time to just put this sound to rest and move on.

I need to summarize the album by saying that getting to release an album is a difficult and persevering task that many good musicians just can’t see through or have the financial means to self-produce an album, so you have to give these guys credit for making it this far. They are not horrible musicians, but I found the album to be pretty dismal in the end, and the drums are too loud in the final mix. I would not honestly recommend it.

Songwriting: 2
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 2
Production: 5

1 Star Rating

1. Beautifully Broken
2. A.B.D.
3. Clarity
4. Secrets & Lies
5. Giving Wings/ The Agony
6. Prophecy
7. It's Fine
8. Call for Twisted Delusions
9. Left Abandoned
Rich Bova – Guitars, Vocals
Billy Weisensee – Bass
Nick Tolias – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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