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The Design Abstract – Technotheism

The Design Abstract
by Ian Yeara at 18 March 2021, 7:22 AM

THE DESIGN ABSTRACT is a Melodic Death Metal duo from Ontario, Canada, I hadn't heard of them before, but they have left a solid first impression. The production is pretty solid for a two man project like this, I don't know what exactly I was expecting, but on the surface they have definitely impressed me. I saw someone else complaining about the focus on keyboards taking them out of the music and making the album worse, I don't usually do this, but I just want to give a quick rebuttal. Guitar players get ALL of the attention in Metal, I'm not saying there isn't plenty of keyboard-centric metal, but not nearly as much. As a piano player, keyboardists deserve work in the metal scene as much as any other instrumentalist, so please for the love of gods, find something else to whine about.

Getting into the music there's a few different influences going on here; there's definitely more Metalcore than I would personally prefer, but I like the vocals enough and the hooks are quite engaging. They remind me of a couple different bands, but I suppose they most remind me of SCAR SYMMETRY, with more -core influence, plus (let's see who remembers this band) the band OPTIC. They released one album back in 2013 and it was a blend of Prog/Power and Melodic Death Metal, really good stuff. Obscure band references aside, THE DESIGN ABSTRACT takes all of these influences and blends them together really well.

The songs are well constructed, if a bit typical but like I said the hooks are excellent, and on top of that, the keyboards are incredible. The guitars could perhaps be higher in the mix, but these guys wanted the keys front and center for an extra dose of Electronica in their Melodic Death Metal and honestly, it's probably the most original part of their music.

I said the production is really good, and I stand by that but I have to mention this, there are these weird moments where the mix gets really hot (meaning there's very little head room in the master volume), so these moments where the guitar is chugging sound kind of distorted and if anything it's these moments that take me out of the music.

The best parts of the album really are the weirder, proggy bits. I love all the symphonic arrangements, very tasteful and even though the songs themselves are pretty short, the variety in tempos and sounds from song to song keep the album vibrant and entertaining from start to finish.

I definitely enjoyed this album, it didn't blow me away and unfortunately large swathes of this album are quite samey and not very memorable. As I said, the production is good overall, but it's not consistent, there are sections where the mix is just too hot, though I must say the keys always sound great. I really enjoyed the electronic breakdowns as well, which is not usually something I like. This is the kind of album that I quite enjoyed on its own like this, but I probably won't be revisiting it.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Relentless
2. Deus Ex Machina
3. The Apotheosis
4. Among The Stars
5. The Resistance
6. Voidwalkers
7. The Omnisphere
8. Data Shield Attack
9. The Return
10. Elucidate
11. Parallel Projection
12. Annihilation
13. A World of One
Voiicide – Bass, songwriting, scoring/programming, lyrics, vocals
Logan Mayhem – Guitars, additional songwriting, sampling
Luke Robinson – Guest guitar solos on "Deus Ex Machina"
Megurine Luka (巡音ルカ) – Guest vocals on "Deus Ex Machina"
Record Label: Abstrakted Records


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Edited 26 November 2022

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