Album Review: The Design Abstract – Transhuman Ascendant

Album Review: The Design Abstract - Transhuman Ascendant
Reviewed by Liam True

Symphonic death metal is quite a niche genre. Not for everybody and not all bands can pull it off well as others. In the case of The Design Abstract, it’s a whirlpool of both sides. Hitting you with some clean riffs that have no business being as technical as they are combined with the background atmospherics that make it sound huge and meatier than your typical death metal record.

The reason I say it’s a mixture of a good take on the genre and bland is because while the band themselves are brilliant with their technical prowess of their instruments, nothing really sticks in your mind. That’s a quite a contradicting statement but hear me out.

Album Review: The Design Abstract - Transhuman Ascendant

The guitar work of Logan Mayhem is beautifully done. Every note he plays is clean while his crunchy tone give’s it more of a kick in your teeth. The drum work is impeccable with the blast beats sounding like no effort was needed while the more melodic beats work perfectly with the music. The vocals of Voiicide are on another level. His diverse vocal ability is unmatched in the genre. His soaring highs hitting heights that are impressive. His unclean vocals are also immense. His snarls and growls intertwining with his cleans make for an impressive combination that go well with the instrumental backdrop of oblivion. The atmospheric scoring is sublime. The echoes, the choirs, the rumbling thunder all make for a bigger sounding album that what they may have originally perused but are in no way sorry for.

All of that is in my mind. But there’s nothing that really stands out or even jumps out. There's not any catchy chorus’. There's not really any memorable solos. From back to front it’s a mesmerising piece of work but nothing sticks in your mind. I couldn’t pin-point a single piece of work you’ll need to hear in this album because it just goes out of your head. It’s extremely conflicting. An amazing album, but nothing grips you afterwards. It’s a huge shame because I caught myself headbanging to the record while listening. The execution was there and was crafted perfectly. It’s just that nothing landed.

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