WORDS: Jim Forsyth
Columbia doesn’t necessarily pop up a whole lot when it comes to metal, at least over here in the UK anyway. This said a gem pops up every so often and in this case Everlasting by Bogotán Gothic-doom 3 piece CHARM DESIGNER shows us what can come out of a country with seemingly little exposure.
Everlasting, whilst not incredibly technical, shows a great degree of versatility that a band can have. CHARM DESIGNER are a mish-mash between gothic and doom with rock and metal influences, and it is very apparent in the music that cherry picked aspects of each influence are used in the band’s music.
This gives the sound of CHARM DESIGNER a tremendous amount of flexibility and for the duration of the album it is definitely there. This 3 piece has a massive sound, and with the gothic/doom influence the use of effects/synths is very liberal and not overdone at all, everything fits and has its place.
Everlasting has a strong 9 track roster that reflects on the band’s overall tightness, tracks flick between genres and influences for example gothic tracks like Never After and Mentors are tucked in between slightly more down-beat doom tracks like Inertial Drain. It is great to hear each extreme almost immediately after the previous.
A few tracks stand out in Everlasting, the baseline quality for this album is pretty good, it certainly has elements to be praised, but furthermore there are one or two tracks that trounce the rest. Endowar is one of the shorter tracks on the album, but it just packs a punch about it – it has got this Iron Maiden-esque quality to it. The bass line rolls through brilliantly and the guitars are definitely on point, drums are consistent and the vocals carry through nicely. Endowar does not sound particularly dramatic and that is probably what the song is lacking, but the sheer old-school style to the track makes it pop for sure.
By the Unmasked is another top track from the Columbian 3 piece, also the longest at a whopping 7 minutes 41 seconds. The song tos and fros between an upbeat verse and an aggressive chorus until a simple guitar fill breaks out which then breaks out into a wonderfully dark and looming solo after. The song switches pacing towards its conclusion to, such a small change in rhythm really compliments the track, it still sounds excellent at a faster percussive speed.
Everlasting is CHARM DESIGNER‘s first release since 2008 – this has given the band a substantial amount of time to figure out where they want to be and how they want to sound. This 8-year gap has clearly been used well, Everlasting is tight, a bit dramatic, immensely well played and recorded. For fans of the Gothic sound, and for fans of the Doom sound, Everlasting could well be a diamond in the rough.
CHARM DESIGNER have been going for 15 years now; they take their time with the music the release and are relatively unheard of. If you are going to pick up a random album out of the blue, make it this one, CHARM DESIGNER have a great professional quality to themselves and that quality reflects hugely in their music.