This could be my first review of a Latvian band. From their EPK, "Swallowed" covers […]
March 27, 2022
Mindesign - Swallowed album cover

This could be my first review of a Latvian band. From their EPK, "Swallowed" covers interpretations of themes such as religion, church, death, life and interpersonal relationships during different periods in life as well as history. What makes the album unique is the fact, that the band has two lyricists, therefore demonstrating the ability to listen to each other, work together in order to unify two different creative visions and create something truly special. According to the members of the band, the new album is musically heavier and more mature than the debut album." The album contains nine tracks.

"Revelation 22:13" opens the album. It opens with a heavy and powerful sound, with the riff and drums moving in a swinging rhythm. The vocals are definitely reminiscent of Deathcore. The background elements are nice and add some thickness to the sound. "Abigail" is another similar song. The guys seem to have found their rhythm and are sticking with it. Some variation in the way the vocals are presented bring a little variegate to the table. "Epididymal Hypertension" sounds more like a Death Metal song, going for the throat with pig squeals and energy. The band is good at these hardened riffs, but not so good at melody.

"(Ill)usions" brings more of the same to the table. The vocalist is quite capable, but the band rests too much on the same chords that others do. The pause at the half-way point is interesting, however, and brings some different sounds with it. "Deathsert" features some nice bass work, as well as some atmospheric elements. If the band did these more often, it could make for a more memorable listening experience. "Piektais Elles Loks" is an underwhelming song that features re-hashed, forgettable riffs. The sounds at the chorus are well-done...but this is the problem with the album that I am taking about.

"Disfigure" is unfortunately more of the same. Again, the varied vocals and background elements are quite well done but just do not make up for the overuse of the low E chord as the main key to the riffs. "Смех В Грехе" features some shouted vocals to go along with the common riffs. The rapped rhythm of them is off-putting. "Baltais Katafalks" closes the album. A longer song, it begins with bells and some solemn and harrowing tones. The opening lead notes are again nice, but are soon washed away with more of that rapped cadence in the vocals and more uncreative riffs. There is some potential here, but it is hard to find.

Overall, the album was too unilateral for me. Too many of the songs sounded similar and not very creative. They have the heavy side of the genre down pretty well, but stumble when it comes to melody. This is of course a common problem with newer bands in the genre. There is potential here, but so far it remains untapped. I would however be willing to keep my eyes on a future release to see how they have corrected these missteps.

5 / 10









"Swallowed" Track-listing:

1. Revelation 22:13
2. Abigail
3. Epididymal Hypertension
4. (Ill)usions
5. Deathsert
6. Piektais Elles Loks
7. Disfigure
8. Смех В Грехе
9. Baltais Katafalks

Mindesign Lineup:

Edgars Ceplis - Bass
Kristiāns Voitkevičs - Drums
Dainis Kļaviņš - Guitars
Edgars Meijers - Guitars
Jānis Naglis - Vocals

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