Close to eight years after their release of their debut effort Blood Sounds, gothic doom metal band Charm Designer finds themselves on the verge of releasing their sophomore effort titled Everlasting. Everlasting will be released through Inverse Records February 19th this year. Everlasting is a nine track epic, one that leads you through cathedral corridors and leaves you actually feeling something. The feeling and effort put into this record is palpable as if it has a heartbeat of its own. While the album isn’t alive (it would be odd if it was) it definitely has a tendency to shove emotion down your throat whether you want it or not.
What Charm Designer does really well is mix an almost yin and yang style of play. At certain parts you get a softer more quite and reserved yet very powerful style of play, and at other points you get a harsher and heavier sound. Mixing the two sounds is what creates the feeling and the feeling of despair and times as well as what seems to be a certain degree of anger.
As metal heads, showing emotion isn’t exactly metal, but that is exactly what you get while listening to Everlasting. Emotion courses through the veins of this doom laden release, and more often than not you get a melancholic feel and you can’t help but sink into a hole and sulk.
Having that gothic twist to their music provides your fair share of atmosphere as well. Playing behind all of the riffs you can hear horns, violins and an assortment of other instruments as well as what seems to be a little bit of choral singing. That element that Charm Designer throws into the fold creates the atmosphere, one that is serene at times and dark and bleak at others.
Everlasting is enchanting, and through each song it takes your hand and draws you even closer. All of that enchantment begins with the all encompassing melancholic musicianship. As mentioned, Charm Designer mix harsher sounds with softer tones and melodies. Charm Designer transitions between slower more deliberate riffs to a faster more romping style. No matter which riff package you get at any given point, the fact still remains that guitar work is silk and powerful and entirely melodic.
The other half of the guitar presence is the bass that makes itself very well known from the very beginning of the album. It is undeniable and every chance that it gets the bass shines. It is a thick force, one that really shows itself when Charm Designer slows the song down and really only has the vocalist singing and the bass rumbling behind him. Of course the bass is at its most audible when it is isolated, but from the beginning of Everlasting to the end of Policy of Truth you can feel it, and even after the album has concluded you can feel it bouncing around in your skull.
There are polarizing vocal tendencies within this release as well. The vocalist at times lets his hypnotic cleans do the talking, and as the cleans drift out, powerful hair raising growls take over. The growls are more prominent when songs pick up in pace and begin to gallop along and the cleans are more prominent when songs slow the tempo and need that touch of sadness and despair. There is one more vocal component that I found to be a great touch and that comes in on the song Never After. Coming in for a brief moment are female vocals that are sung very sweetly and add an extra layer of atmosphere and overall gives the songs something special.
For fans long time fans of Charm Designer this is definitely worth the wait. For people that were looking for a great new gothic album, Everlasting is that album as well. Everlasting has a certain darkened charm about it, and it pulls you in making you want to listen over and over again. This release is melodic, moody, and heavy in all of the right places and a fit on anyone’s shelf.