ALBUM: Design The Skyline – Nevaeh

Release Date: August 16th, 2011
Label: Victory Records


Design The Skyline are a band who, after the release of ‘Surrounded By Silence’, were bombarded with great criticism following the music video for the track and the track itself after signing a deal with label Victory Records. Shrugging the negativity off their shoulders, the band moved forward into releasing their new full-length, ‘Neveah’. However, upon the release of this album, they may be grateful to be surrounded by silence.

‘Neveah’ kicks in with ‘Crystal Swords Kill The Hordes, which is very different to the now rather infamous ‘Surrounded…’, yet has the same key structure and sound changes. DTS are a band who try to be very different, and succeed in that one aspect of their sound. Heavy metalcore, fused with synth, and a contrast of deep deathcore screams, fused with an almost ballad-y set of vocals. The band cite Led Zeppelin and The Doors as influences, and I believe this would greatly upset fans of either aforementioned band. They are, however, like a cross between Whitechapel and Asking Alexandria, but with even more synth. Think Dragonforce meets Deadmau5 and we might make some kind of progress. This band is very different to anything you will have ever heard before, being a very niche act, but some of the best acts around are, so maybe they just haven’t found their market or honed their sound yet.

Songs like ‘Reality Away’ and ‘Destroyer’ show a more mature side to the band who got slated early last year, however they have grown in maturity since then, but are nowhere near the finished article. DTS go very much along the “play loud, play fast – hope it sounds okay” mentality, and this album has very clearly been over-produced. The album has some very impressive guitar riffs, but they are ridiculously repetitive, which just gets boring. ‘Cybernetic Strawflower’ could easily be a boss fight on Guitar Hero, however that is the best I can say for it, the song, and the album overall seems otherwise disjointed. The drums sound decent, however very out of place at times, the time signatures are possibly too intelligent for this type of music, and the synths could be matched by that of the worst scene band trying to make themselves seem different.

‘Reverie’ is possibly the most likeable song on the album, with a jazz fusion aspect, but even at that, it’s really nothing special. The album seems to go through all of the default backing tracks of a kids Casio keyboard for the rest of the album, not least the final album title-track – if you want to feel like you are on hold to an imitative Chinese restaurant, this is the song you are looking for.

This album is not completely lost, if you like The Devil Wears Prada and/or Asking Alexandria, then give it a chance. However, listening to this album would seem like nothing less than a chore for even the most open minded music fan. Think Blood On The Dance Floor with a bit more metal and screaming… yeah, it’s that bad.

Written by Gary Cassidy