Charm Designer is a Gothic / Doom metal band located in Columbia. It was the first time for me that I had the chance to listen to a band from that country so I was extremly excited how they would attempt writing songs. Plus I didn't listen to a album of that genre for some time so I felt it would be a good idea to check it out.
My attention was raised even more as I got to know that the follow-up to 2008's “Blood Sounds” was recorded with legendary producer Waldemar Sorychta, known for his work with Samael, Tiamat, Lacuna Coil, Sentenced and Moonspell among others, being the first time for him to produce a Latin American band. The artwork was designed by Romanian artist Costin Chioreanu (At The Gates, Arcturus, Vulture Industries, Primordial, Arch Enemy, etc.).
|The cover of Everlasting, (c) by Charm Designer, used with kind permission|
Charm Designer did a outstanding job on this one. The album contains eight brand new tracks that will take you on a wild ride through your inner feelings and emotions. It's filled with all that makes us humans and it goes to all the extremes we all endure and are pushed through every day. It sounds extreme and will give you pain at some points but after all the harsh parts and heavyness there's always release and silkness coming back in giving you freezing chills and giving you the breath back. In the end it will strenghten you for all that still is yet to come.
The album lives of it's contrast of dark, brutal vocals and the much lighter contra female voice parts. The same goes for the music. Sure there's darkness and heavyness all around but it never presses you down. It still pushes on forward through the groove and there's always some melody shining through. Black clouds and silver linings. The best way to quickly check out if the record is for you is to see the lyric video of the title track which you can find at the Player and Purchase Link section further down in this review. If you feel like it touches you the you should give the full album a listen, because there's a lot more yet to come so prepare yourselves for the ride...
The album is well balanced but there are some tracks I'd like to point out. Besides the title track my personal favorites are Never After and most of all Inertial Dream for their very heavy attitude and remembering me of old classic Gothic metal times.
Disruption is one of the most flexible cuts of the full length bringing together a good mixture of oldschool and slightly modern elements. But all the modern stuff is kept in a discret way. They are never overused and only taken if they add to the mood so it sounds authentic. Some tracks have a length of nearly seven minutes but never sound lengthy. If you prefer the shorter one's make sure to listen to Mentors, it goes out as a very straight number.
It should be mentioned that the band did a cool cover version of Depeche Mode's "Policy of truth". The song remains intact in it's structure through the cover conversion, but you can heavily hear that Charm Designer put their signature of Doom 'n' Gothic brutality on it. It's a good cover I can see this going down quite well in Gothic or Metal clubs on a saturday night with many people handbanging along to it.
Player and Purchase-Link
The album is available through the store of the band's record company Inverse Records as a physical CD.
There also the chance to buy a mp3 version of the record from Amazon.
Update 2016/02/20: You can also place your order via the band's Facebook account. Read this info sheet they released for detailed info. They also have some nice goodie packs available with T-Shirts plus CD and you can also ask for other combinations. Just send them a message and they'll put together a nice package for you.
As far as I've seen there's no album stream available so I've added the official lyric video of "Everlasting" here to give you a quick idea of the band's sound and style.
Update 2016/02/22: The album has been uploaded to streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer. I've added the Deezer widget under the YouTube lyric video of the title track. Also if you're not registered to the service you can at least listen to some 30 second clips of the album.