(Review by Stefan)

Originating from Raleigh (the capital of the U.S. state of North Carolina), Dark Design began its quest back in 2008 when brothers, actually former Hidden Terror/Nocturnal Fear members Matt (Bass/backing vocals) and Robbie Mercer (Drums/Backing Vocals) formed the band along with guitar player Ray Lewis (also ex-Hidden Terror/Nocturnal Fear). A bit later on, also vocalist Andrew Bertrand and second axe wielder Mike Joyner teamed up. I'm not sure whether they have made other efforts ​​prior to their debut album, point is that within a little while Dark Design’s first full length album “Prey For The Future” will be released through Heaven And Hell Records. If you can’t wait for the official release, I suggest you to pre-order at THIS spot. Let me explain why you would do that…


Well, in the first place I want to make myself clear with the following statement: these guys are just brilliant ! This is all about US Progressive Power/Thrash Metal and that’s what we at Metal To Infinity webzine… this beautiful gem runs deep in our hearts for decades. For me, Dark Design corresponds to my desires completely. Technical considering they are simply stunning, it's like a puzzle that fits perfectly into each other. Two breathtaking elements that make the band so attractive are the great vocals and both guitar players offering an in-fighting battle while superbly riffing and soloing on a regular basis. In the end, there’s no winner due to they’re equivalent to each other. I also want to emphasize that this band has a very good singer on board, a man that draws all attention to himself because of his unique voice technique. For some reason, he does remind me of Vic Hix from legendary Classic US Metal Shok Paris (Auburn Records). Occasionally, he slightly recalls Matt Barlow (ex Iced Earth) and fallen Metal God Michael Grant (ex Onward/Crescent Shield) influences as well. The overall sound of Dark Design’s album is just amazingly good! On top is also the fact that there is a strong connection audible between drummer and bassist that works out contagious. That’s what I think on the players skills, I’m very optimistic about but it’s the true… this is a top notch US Metal band !


“Prey For The Future” is certainly one of the best shiners on Heaven And Hell Records which is nothing more than a great label with a heart for outstanding US Metal music. The songs on this CD do not fall under the category of modern, so called nowadays Metal… not even close! I would like this beautiful album to all people possessed by the forces of US Power/Thrash Metal Metal. Hell no, Dark Design has nothing to do with the European Metal scene. I think the difference in between US and Euro Metal remains huge, I’m still convinced about that and I don’t care as some people claim the opposite!


There are nine songs added to the tracklist of “Prey For The Future” and believe me on my word that there are only very good songs I can promote you really. Both in terms of this album guarantees lots of musical variety, Dark Design even offer a great Kansas cover of the legendary song ‘Dust In The Wind’… bold but successful move. Throughout the entire album, speed velocities are tempered at the right time, the bridges, riffs, leads and last but not least the vocals can be described as very well done ! An album made for all of us, Progressive US Power / Thrash Metal maniacs also melt away by the likes of Forte, E-X-E, Realm, Toxik, Anacrusis, Crown The Lost, Fallen Sanctuary, Ancient Creation and stuff.


This is without a doubt one of my favorite efforts of the last few weeks. Until recently, I never heard of Dark Design, currently their debut album repeatedly played on a daily basis. I will always believe in the strength of US Metal music, it keeps me going on no matter what my future holds. People hooked on obscure technical US Power/Thrash Metal, do not dare not to buy this awesome CD. “Prey For The Future” will end up in my favourite Top 20 list of 2013, nothing but a normal fact. Check Dark Design out via: www.facebook.com/darkdesignband   Label info at: http://www.heavenandhellrecords.com/blog/


My Points: 89/100



95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !

Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan

Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it

Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing

Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate

Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard

50- : Rubbish