"Absolute Design" (SPV/Steamhammer; 2007)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

I, along with many others, was disappointed when Gardenian disbanded for lack of a record deal. All these years I’ve waited patiently for Niclas Engelin to create and release new music under the Gardenian banner, but it looks that wishful thinking will go unfulfilled.

However, Engelin has teamed up with ex-The Crown guitarist Marcus Sunesson for a modern take on Swedish melodeath in the form of Engel. Somewhat unfortunately “Absolute Design” ends up sounding more like current In Flames with a more melodic vocal influence than traditional Swedish melodeath. “Absolute Design” has twelve tracks that are, for the most part, snappy numbers that don’t overstay their welcome. Percussive rhythms dominate with current touches like female vocals and electronic-seasoning laying a big role in the overall Engel sound.

Ultimately, “Absolute Design” is a sturdy, if somewhat disappointing, album. I’m sure I’ll appreciate this album more as the years roll by, but my desire for a fourth Gardenian album will probably be unrequited.

“Absolute Design” was produced by Anders Friden (In Flames). The sound of “Absolute Design” is quite good.

Engel is Magnus Klavborn on vocals, Niclas Engelin and Marcus Sunesson on guitars, Michael Hakansson on bass, and Mojjo on drums.

For more information visit http://www.engelpropaganda.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to RoughEdge.com Home

Copyright © 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.