Sound: Deadlock are an odd melodeath band from Germany. They've been around about 10 years now, released 4 albums but haven't had much popularity outside Germany and Scandanavia. And why should they, most would claim them to be another Melodeath band?
Not true, readers. This band doesn't follow the same sort of template as the traditional gothenburg style goes. This is notable in their inclusion of 'Beauty and the Beast' vocals and the more avante-garde style of playing. So the sound is.. akward.
The guitar sound is audable, and notes are clear, but the odd thick distortion they use makes each note blend together somehow, this is noticable in the track 'Dying Breed'. The tones are rather sweet, bright and light tones, with the heavines coming from the low end strings and the lightly distorted bass guitar. The drummer is a decent drummer, although nothing very technical, the odd fills and use of blast beats and double pedals definatly keeps the rythm up.
But this is where it gets wierd. while the growls are what you'd expect in 'normal' Death Metal (don't follow the same Gothernburg template) the clean singer, Sabine, sings in a very german pop-rock style, not much of that wavy vibrato going on, but her voice is pretty enough and has a near perfect pitch. Doesn't sound that wierd? Considering its death metal, it ought to be.
On some tracks, there are some very different elements to be found. Most notable are 'Deathrace' and 'Fire at will'. 'Deathrace', Named after the recent film I'm assuming, is a pretty good vocal orientated song.. for the first 3 minutes. Half way through the music suddenly stops, some odd synth violins start playing and then it goes into a rap song.. the rap song, I believe, was used on the aforementioned recent film. Now, I'm not really a fan of the film or the rap song, but somehow Deadlock just manage to get away with it. In 'Fire at will', theres another odd element to the song. Usually, you'd hear a song and then get half way through, and listen to a solo of some sort. Well, afterwards it'd usually go back into the song, but not so this time. the solo carries on.. with a saxophone. Now this IS something I did like, rather unexpected but very entertaining.
More wierdness? Yes. The last track is a cover of 'Temple of Love' by Sisters of mercy. Now, Sabines voice fits perfectly, as does the rest of the intro, but once the growls come in, its a little bit akward.
The keyboard affects are something of note, as they are more like backdrops for the lead guitar, like you'd find in say, Symphony X. They have a really nice tone too. And like Symphony X, theres a huge power metal influence in the album. // 7
Lyrics: The lyrics are pretty good, actually. They are mostly about the views, of what I believe, the band thinks of the modern world. This is evident in the songs 'Martyr to Science' where the band state that people give up their lives for small advances in sometimes irrelavent ideas such as cosmetics.
The more basic lyrics are performed by the 'Beast' end of the vocal range, while Sabine sings the more clear message as the chorus.
Unlike some bands, such as Stormlord, the growls fit the unmelodic and balls-to-the-wall style verse playing, while Sabines singing carries out such amazing melody at times, it almost makes you tearful.
And heres another nice addition. In, what I consider my favourite track, 'Dying Breed', just before the solo, a new male singing voice comes in. At first, I thought it was the growler, with some hidden talent, but they were so familiar. They appeared again, right after the solo, more empowering this time, riding over the melodic chorus. And at that time, I just knew it was him. Christian Alvestam. And I'm sure I don't need to go into how brilliant his voice is.. // 9
Overall Impression: You can't really compare this band to any others. I'll tell you that it IS like listening to Scar Symmetry though. Perfect balance between softness and heaviness, and some beautiful melodies. Except all the members have been replaced with some equally talented players.
All the songs are mindblowing. But of course there are preferences, my favourites being 'Dying Breed', 'Altruism' which is a soft melancholic Antimatter type song, and 'Martyr to Science'.
I love practically everything about this album and theres little I'd change apart from the awkward rap song in 'Deathrace'. But really the only niggly bit is the slightly odd time changes where the rythm would change from 4/4 to 3/4 or something after a verse or chorus and it'd put me off a little. I love prog, but it is a little sloppy the way they perform it.
I'd really suggest this to anyone who loves their metal, it combines everything you'd expect into any type of metal song. This includes the death growls, soft vocals, melody, chugging riffs, screaming solos, everything in between and outside the box. If you just want something soft and heavy, heavy and heavy, or wierd and heavy this band, and album are a perfect choice. // 8