Sound — 2
I usually approach music with an open mind, absorbing what unique characteristics a band has, and how they make the best of them. The same approach was taken for this, Design The Skyline's Victory records debut. After pouring several hours into this disk, the only conclusion I can come to is this....this album is awful. Design The Skyline are everything tiring and worn down about the entire -core movement: boring breakdowns, gutteral, unintelligable vocals, ameteur-ish time signature changes, horrid cleans, and out of place programming. To break this down through each instrument, the guitars are simply boring. They repeat techniques used on every other -core record, but in a manner so trite as to be almost unlistenable. There are some interesting mathcore esque flourishes, but instead of dealing with every other bad thing on this album just to get to them, try some Dillinger Escape Plan instead. Drums are one of the more interesting things on this album, but still nothing I haven't heard before. Decent fills and bass drum control, but even this can sometimes sound awkward and out of place (ex. intro to Destroyer). Yes, there's a synth player too. Yes, he does the exact same things every aspiring scene band does. The only sort of saving grace is the mostly jazzy interlude, Reverie, but even that sounds like a copypasted iwrestledabearonce breakdown.
Lyrics — 2
Lyrics are very standard. Crystal Swords Kill The Hordes sounds like a watered down version of Suicide Silence's Unanswered, without the passion that made that song so great. "What if your God is not in the sky above? What if he doesn't care about your f***ing life?" truly sounds ameteur-ish, like a pissed off middle schooler discovering atheism for the first time. Other songs are no different. Examples include: from Destroyer "Blood on the walls, coating the halls. M guilty pleasure, axe to your face...sever." from Witch of the Woods "When the darkness rises from the phantom abyss, the light from above will be shattered into ashes" The vocalists make it even more intollerable. The gutteral screams sound like a blender full of rocks and bullfrogs, and the highs are akin to nails on a chalk board. The cleans sound like Danny of Asking Alexandria if you filtered him through autotune and castrated him. Just...not good at all.
Overall Impression — 1
This album is, for lack of a better word, sucky. The band sounds so inexperienced and unorganized that listening to the entire thing once was a chore. I honestly tried to like this album, but in the end, couldn't. I found nothing honestly original or like-able here. Others may disagree, but as for me, I'll move on and leave this band far behind. For fans of: I Set My Friends On Fire, brokeNCYDE, I Declare War.