Jul 2013 28

Afflicted by Design - #namelessAfflicted by Design
Category: Industrial / Rock
Album: #nameless
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: A solid helping of classic American industrial rock that simply doesn’t live up to its promise with substandard vocals and lyrics.


Texas does love its guitar-driven music; as home to such classic acts as ZZ-Top and Stevie Ray Vaughan, as well as to the more industrial flavors of Ministry and Nocturne, it’s only natural that any band or artist coming out of the Lone Star state should feature heavy amounts of guitar. Such is the case with Afflicted by Design, the brainchild of one S.A. Sebastian Gnolfo. With his debut EP, #nameless features three original tracks full of influences ranging from the more melodic qualities of goth and electro music, as in the somber “Dreaming Mona” with its twinkling synths and somber atmosphere by way of ‘80s new wave, to the six-string heavy metal fury that rages through “Jesus Christ Machine” and “South Side of Sickness,” full of chunky riffs that are as familiarly guttural as they acerbic and venomous. With Michael J. Carrasquillo adding the organic element with his drums and programming and guitarists Pete Collins and Skunk Manhattan lending their searing leads atop Gnolfo’s groovy rhythms and squelching synths, subtly adding the right amount of electronic atmosphere without losing the hard rocking edges, the music is classic riff-laden industrial rock that is, unfortunately, marred by some less endearing qualities, resting mainly in the vocals. With a heavier production sheen, “South Side of Sickness” would be highly reminiscent of Rammstein, but given something of a grittier, more rudimentary American arena rock edge by Gnolfo’s semi-spoken lyrics, which are just a tad juvenile with lines like, “They tell me I’m not good enough. I’ll show them; I’ll show them all. I can be special, I can be someone.” There’s a bitter simplicity to it that is not unappealing but there is little bite or balls to Gnolfo’s delivery. The same can be said of “Dreaming of Mona,” as his attempts to infuse an emotional melancholy are hindered by the less-than-stellar vocal performance. In every other aspect of the self-produced effort, Gnolfo does well to make a clean set of songs, with his Thump remix of “Jesus Christ Machine” placing a greater emphasis on the grinding electronics and insistent beats, making for a killer track for any modern industrial DJ to spin. However, unless S.A. Sebastian Gnolfo can brush up his skills in the lyrics and vocals, Afflicted by Design may be fated to remain – as the EP’s title suggests – a nameless entity in modern industrial rock.
Track list:

  1. Jesus Christ Machine
  2. South Side of Sickness
  3. Dreaming Mona
  4. Jesus Christ Machine (S.A. Sebastian Thump Remix)

Afflicted by Design Website http://afflictedbydesign.com
Afflicted by Design Facebook https://www.facebook.com/afflictedbydesign
Afflicted by Design Twitter http://twitter.com/afflictedbydsgn
Afflicted by Design Bandcamp http://afflictedbydesign.bandcamp.com
AGCruxansata Music
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Afflicted by Design Bandcamp
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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