“The new album everyone is talking about! For fans of Attack Attack!, Bring me the Horizon, and Asking Alexandria” says the bright orange sticker on the case. I stumbled across this CD in one of the few Hot Topics in my home state of Washington. It had been awhile since I had last listened to some new screamo/metalcore bands, so I figured why not? For those of you who aren’t familiar with Attack Attack! and Asking Alexandria, they are some of the first bands to combine heavy screamo with poppy or melodic techno elements and synth sounds. Asking Alexandria is actually pretty damn good at it which makes them an extremely influential band. So I was expecting Design the Skyline to just be another one of the bands following in the trails of Underoath and Attack Attack! But I expected wrong….
In the first full minute of the first song, I thought I had accidentally bought a Chelsea Grin album. It kicked off with a slow, heavy Whitechapel/Chelsea Grin styled breakdown. I was expecting something poppy, not brutal like this! So it really took me by surprise. After the first minute, the mood turns soft and the chords are melodic with keyboards and synths with average-sounding singing. And alternates between those two sounds throughout the song.
Now let’s look at the individual musicians. First of all, there’s a lot of them, second, not much talent. Their drummer is below average; he overuses the splash symbol, his parts are uncreative and not unique at all, and his snare sounds horrible (probably not completely his fault). I don’t really have much to say about the guitarists other than that their lead guitarist is really good at writing solos and that everything else about them is completely average. The bassist is average, can really point out anything to say about him other than that I wish I could hear him better. I can tell that their vocalist screams and growls the wrong way, so it’ll only be a couple of years ‘till his throat goes down the toilet like Mitch Lucker (Suicide Silence) and Alex Koehler (Chelsea Grin). The singer’s voice is just plain annoying, but it does fit the music quite well in some parts of the album.
Overall, the album isn’t that bad. It has catchy songs, it has brutal vocals, but it lacks individuality and creativity. I don’t know where these guys will go, but their name will definitely sick around for a while in the metalcore world. If you look around on the internet, you get sort of that black/white thing with peoples’ opinions. There are a lot of people that are raving over this album, and there are a lot of people talking about pissing on and burning the damn record. If you are at all interested in listening to this record, look up the song “Crystal Swords Kill the Hordes”. For me, I would give this an average score of 13/20.