Designed to Disappear is an album of contradictions. Traditionally an instrumental group that played on the heavy side of prog-metal, Dead Empires' recent inclusion of vocalist Jason Sherman has resulted in a tremendous shift regarding the band's overall sound.
The first half of the album is part hardcore, part grindcore; laced into these songs are sporadic jazz-like outbursts. These interruptions, when supported by growling and shrieking, are overbearing and could easily be dismissed as noise.
However, everything changes for the second half of the album. "A Summertime Song" marks the reconciliation between the band and its post-prog-metal foundations, with narratives written in heavy riffs, awash in distortion, leading the listener through the rest of the album. This inherent dichotomy, between the raw experimentation of its first half and the familiar foundations of the second, will no doubt result in split perceptions for even the most dedicated fans. There are plenty out there who will think this is a heavy avant-garde album, while others will pick and choose their favourite songs and barely play the rest. (Silent Pendulum)