Design 19

Sundown - Design 19 ©1998 Century Media
1. Aluminum
2. 19
3. Judgement Ground
4. Voyager
5. Synergy
6. As Time Burns
7. Don't Like To Live Today
8. Slither
9. Emotional
10. 112/Ghost In The Machine

Like other bands who have jumped off the death metal ride for a more gothicized approach to music, Sundown's debut Design 19 is a good springboard into a new future. Mathias Lodmalm, who formerly led Cemetary, has teamed up with former Tiamat bassist Johnny Hagel to pursue this project. As evidenced in the last couple Cemetary outings, Sundown and Last Confessions (which was post-breakup), Lodmalm's songwriting is indeed still emphasizing keyboard and beats that are a bit more trip-hoppy than metal. "Judgement Ground" is a good display of keyboard orchestration leading the way, with Lodmalm's deep somber vocals (as well as the eerie backing vocals) making this probably the most gothic song on the album. Things finally rev up a bit around "Synergy", where a very upbeat tempo puts them in the same territory as Paradise Lost charted on One Second. "Don't Live Like Today" is another great tune that could very well have been on the last couple Cemetary albums. Chances are, if you have enjoyed what Paradise Lost or Anathema are up to these days or really liked the direction of the final Cemetary albums, Sundown will be very appealing.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/1998

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