"Wolves" (Lifeforce; 2009)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

This week's winner of metal mash-up is Deadlock, who seem to be one of those bands that has may have a bit too much going on at once.

This sextet's 11-track release, "Wolves," displays a unit whose crushing Gothenburg sound isn't afraid to go all '70s prog-rock during solo time ("We Shall All Bleed"), and comes complete with dual vocals, a la Lacuna Coil (one dude, one chick), for massive accessibility purposes. There's also heart-wrenching Evanescence-esque piano balladry ("To Where the Skies Are Blue) and majestic black metal orchestrations ("Praeludium II") mixed within the death'n'roll rock verse-chick rock chorus metal anthems ("As Words to Bullets") to truly confound, amaze, and irk listeners across the board.

"Wolves" is the type of disc where a mixing board as a listening device would come in handy to tune out what you don't want and turn up what you want more of, but if you can deal with an album with three solo albums built in, then it's all good.

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"Manifesto" (Lifeforce; 2008)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Deadlock return with another dose of bludgeoning metalcore with dual male/ female vocal on "Manifesto," this German outfit's latest offering.

The 11-track affair maintains the crush employed by many of the new wave of European metal acts, yet this sextet continuously throws musical curveballs which definitely makes their music stand out, but not always for the right reasons.

The thumping techno opener "The Moribund Choir vs. The Trumpets of Armageddon" and the over-the-top street hip-hop performance that winds down "Deathrace" are prime examples of some creative moments that most metal fans will write off as miscues, despite their dead-on accuracy and attention to detail. However, if you can deal with this eclectic band's unorthodox leanings, jittery creative flashes, and solid yet tired beauty and the beast call and response vocals, the sonic battering applied to cuts like the Children of Bodom-esque "Fire At Will" and "Seal Slayer" stand up alongside any of the current crop's most notable, making "Manifesto" an album that dares to take chances yet holds its ground to keep it heavy.

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"Earth Revolt" (Lifeforce; 2005)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

By the time I'd gotten around to listening to Deadlock's "Earth.Revolt" I'd inadvertently become aware of the German band's growing reputation for mixing Swedish melodic death metal, symphonic black metal, and metalcore into a sonic brew that created something fresh and new rather than something tired and stale.

"Earth.Revolt" features eight songs (not including an intro and an outro) that have traditional melodic death metal standards mixed in with epic structures. The guitars slash and burn their way through the mix while the un-credited keyboards alternately soar through the mix or quietly understate the proceedings to great effect. The guitars echo nearly all of the twin-guitar duos of the Swedish melodic death metal scene while, more often than not, the keyboards have the classical/gothic feel so expertly employed by Dimmu Borgir. The vocals are aligned more with the traditional hardcore/metalcore world.

"Earth Revolt" was produced by D. Richter and Sebastian Reichl. The production and mix are solid, but are occasionally muddled, which slightly takes away from the overall impact of "Earth.Revolt."

Deadlock: Johannes Prem on vocals, Sebastian Reichl and Gert Rymen on guitars, Thomas Huschka on bass, and Tobias Graf on drums. Keyboards and backing female vocals are un-credited but both play a critical part in the band's sound.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2022 15:00:07 -0400.