There are so many good things to say about local metallers Swarm of Eyes debut, Designing The Dystopia. Take equal parts Metallica …And Justice For All and The New Order Testament with hints of Entombed, Satyricon, and Nachtmystium and you have an idea what Swarm of Eyes are about.
If you like your metal loud, fast, and complex, then Designing The Dystopia is for you.
“Enter The Circle” is how you open a metal album. Plain and simple. It’s a statement of intent lead by a guitar squeal that could’ve been made by Eddie Van Halen on “Eruption”. The next 5 minutes are a swirl of guitar solos, heavy riffing and vocalist Randy Carter’s diverse scream/growl.
If you think you’re getting another straight up metal record, check out the one-two punch of “Endless Ashes” and “Shadows At Dusk”. “Endless” begins with a sinister guitar line that devolves into a metal thumper while “Shadows” is easily the best song here. Starting acoustically until the fade to some early Metallica-style guitar work, this song goes from mid-tempo rocker with solos reminiscent of Alex Skolnick to a spoken word/bass breakdown back to a metal stomp with a solitary riff that stays with you long after.
“Warzone” is exactly what the name implies and features stellar riff-work by guitarists George O’Connor and Derrik Albertelli. “Downfall” is a nice march that echoes some of Slayer’s eerier moments with an opening bass line laid down steadily by Jeff Grossman.
I would love to keep going on about how awesome songs like “Journey To The Endless End” and “Humanemic” are but by now, I’m only taking time that could be spent listening to Swarm of Eyes away from you. And that is a disservice to you and to them.
The greatest thing about Designing… is that even at 14 tracks, there’s never a dull moment. Just when you thought you’ve heard everything in Swarm of Eyes’ musical arsenal, they bring something new to the table.
Designing The Dystopia is slated to hit in April but for now you can get a taste here.