A couple of years ago, I went to the Aalborg Metal Festival here in Denmark. Along with among others an embarrassing showcase of drunken and stoned Deicide madness as well as The Haunted’s metalcore fury, a new Swedish band called Engel gave it a try. They didn’t do half bad, I have to say. And now, two years later, their debut album is ready to hit the stores and the time seems ripe for Engel to break.
With the release of ‘Absolute Design’, the six-piece, formed by former In Flames guitarist Niclas Engelin, certainly prove that they’ve got something store for us. Not a far cry from In Flames, the emphasis lies on tempo shifts, groove, a mixture of clean and metalcore-inspired vocals.
I’d say this is more pop than In Flames, but it’s definitely not Justin Timberlake – by no means! There’s plenty of fast and hard stuff in there to make most of us thrash suckers happy. But it would seem that those Gothenburg musicians find it hard to leave out melody, and I’m not necessarily one to complain.
Mangan Klavborn has a characteristic voice, efficiently brutal in the metalcore parts,, yet curiously fragile and sensitive in the clean bits, thus assisting Engel in distancing itself from the In Flames clones around. Some of his phrasings remind me of what Al Jourgenson did on e.g. the classic Ministry track Thieves and that is slightly different from what all the other trendy metalcore vocalists are doing right now.
An extremely solid and promising debut CD from a band I think we’ll hear a lot more from! Nice one!