Review by Andy Valentine
Every other metal band with a chick singer out there makes a point of it. This has gotten to the point where it is goddamn gimmicky. Hey, look at us – we’re a metal band, but look, we have a chick singer. Arch Enemy, Lacuna Coil – they push this as their selling point. It doesn’t make them bad bands particularly, but it’s clear that in at least those two examples, they’ve got chick singers for the sake of having chick singers. It’s a way to stand out from the crowd.
Deadlock is the opposite. They have a female vocalist, and not a “chick singer.” It’s not forced, but rather a very integral and dynamic avenue for their sound. No joke, this is a straight up death metal band. The speedy thrash bumps coming off the lead-in song, “We Shall All Bleed” is definite proof of this. The guttural roars coming from singer Johannes Prem feel right in place. When Sabine Weniger’s clean female vocals come in, it doesn’t sound like, “oh shit, here we go with another chick singer” – her beautiful vocals fall directly in line with what the music is doing.
Yeah, she’s a woman, sure. But it doesn’t matter. That’s not the point. And it’s fucking awesome.
People aren’t going to call Deadlock a metal band with a chick singer. They are going to call Deadlock a metal band. Period.
This same flavor applies to the ingenious programming and key instrumentation offered up by Weniger and Sebastian Reichl. This isn’t a scenario where loops, samples, and box beats are used to be gimmicky. They are all honest to goodness integrated into the music in a way that they belong there. When a house or break beat pumps through one of these tunes, it’s not forced. It’s right where it’s supposed to be. Everything on this album just seems to fall in place.
I dig it.
On the other side of the stage, the guitar work here is great. This album presents you with all the speedy thrash riffs and slutty guitar solos that any metal offering should include. And goddamn, it’s heavy shit. “Loser’s Ballet” for instance, with it’s orchestral mid-tune break down and haunted string section is just about as heavy as anything Dimmu Borgir has put out. Fucking good too. This was made for metal-heads, not mall kids.
Truly, the only thing that keeps me from giving this disc a higher mark is I’m thinking this band can do even better. These guys are officially on my radar now, and I am looking forward to the next record. Mark my words, this band will only get better.