Charm Designer is a Colombian band, formed in 2002. Gradually, the band started growing and receiving international attention. An album was released and the band played a lot of gigs. When it was time for the second album, they found nobody less than Waldemar Sorychta eager to produce it. Having worked with all the bands i mentioned in the opening paragraph, Sorychta is a legend in the dark metal world, responsible for multiple classics in the genre.
So is this album a classic?
Well, only time will tell, of course, but there's certainly something there. While opener 'Everlasting' reminds me of anything between My Dying Bride and November's Doom, 'Never After' sounds like a song Moonspell forgot to write. In all, it seems like Charm Designer is a bit heavier than acts like Lacuna Coil or Tiamat but certainly worth your attention. There are some very strong songs, loaded with atmosphere, keyboards and a wide variation of vocals.
Speaking about variation, that is something that Charm Designer certainly brings. I've mentioned a few classics in the world of dark metal but I feel like I have to add some more. At times, I'm reminded of Arch Enemy or the repetitive nature of Samael. Here and there even Dimmu Borgir comes through while on other occasions Crematory or even Fields Of The Nephilim come shining through. At the end, they even do a bit of Atrocity's 'Werk 80' when they cover Depeche Mode's 'Policy Of Truth'.
Now don't get me wrong, this album does not sound like a compilation of nineties dark metal bands. Charm Designer has an own sound, obviously inspired by those bands but strong enough to convince, even when they seem to seem to go on a goth-rock journey in the awesome song 'Mentors'. Now, I admit, this might not be the most complex song on this album, but neither is Moonspell's 'Opium' and that still is a classic.
So yes, we're dealing with a high quality album here, one that hopefully will gain these guys a lot of attention in the near future. If you're one of those dark souls, nostalgic for the glorious days of the gloomy nineties, you should definitely get your hands on this thing. Now all that's left is hoping that Charm Designer will come over to Europe soon. I'd definitely want to see this live.