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Deadlock: Wolves

Deadlock's follow-up to 2005's Earth.Revolt sees the band taking their established sound a few steps further. Lead singer Sabine Weniger has now officially become a full-time member besides her role as keyboard player. Weniger has a more prominent role than before on this disc, duelling with Johannes Prem on pretty much every tune and adding in contrast to his brutal death metal growls.

Though not very different, unlike its predecessor, Wolves sees longer compostions imbued with extended amounts of instumental moments. "We Shall All Bleed" begins with rolling drums and a brutal death growl before Weniger comes in with her angelic voice delivering sweet melodies. There is a lengthy instrumental passage, boasting a kinetic keyboard and guitar unison solo before concluding with an acoustic guitar coda. Similarly, the guitar and keyboard duel of "Crown of Creation", occasionally broken off by nice piano interludes, is among the more instrumentally rich parts of the album. This track comes across as particularly heavy, especially after the somewhat poppy "Dark Cell", full with relentlessly fast double bass drums and catchy vocal lines from Weniger. "Losers' Ballet", sung entirely with death growls, has a cool piano intro, lots of string elements, and interesting symphonic excursions -- certainly one of Deadlock's more engaging tracks. Strangely, there is also a weird disco number on the CD in the form of "End Begins", chock full of electronic beats and a happy-go melody, but all of a sudden it drops out, guitarists Sebastian Reichl and Gert Rymen come in raging with a killer guitar lead and tear the roof up. Certainly an interesting combination, but this, to me, is not where Deadlock's strength lies. Trying to be "progressive" just for the sake of it may alienate some of their older fan base and whether it will gain them new listeners is not certain either.

As good as some of the songs on this album are, it is questionable how well these instrumental breaks work within the confines of melodic death metal with the occasional gothy keyboard work and female vocals. The guys are certainly capable of playing, but this is certainly not the medium to prove it. I'm of the opinion they put out a much more focused and effective release with Earth.Revolt.

The album was mixed by Jacob Hansen and has his trademark style all over it. But the recording (done by the band themselves) of the kick drums could have been better -- just a minor complaint.

Track Listing

  1. World Domination
  2. We Shall All Bleed
  3. Code of Honor
  4. Losers' Ballet
  5. Dark Cell
  6. Crown of Creation
  7. End Begins
  8. As Words to Bullets
  9. Praeludium II
  10. Bloodpact
  11. To Where the Skies Are Blue

Added: May 9th 2007
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Score:
Related Link: Deadlock website
Hits: 2667
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Deadlock: Wolves
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-05-09 08:28:23
My Score:

Deadlock's follow-up to 2005's fine Earth.Revolt once again sees the German band hitting you with a barrage of brutal melodic death metal, gothic ambience, and a splattering of prog rock. Wolves also sees a more prominent role for keyboard player Sabine Wenlger, as her strong yet angelic vocals share the spotlight with the death growls of Johannes Prem throughout the CD, giving each song a ton of variety and adds greatly to the excitement factor. A tune like "We Shall All Bleed" hits you like a hammer with rampaging Gothenburg styled melodic death metal arrangements, but has plenty of hooks and intricate rhythms. Think Dark Tranquility meets Evanescance and you have an idea where Deadlock are coming from here. Catchy melodies, bubbly keyboards, and furious guitar riffs pummel the senses on "Code of Honor", again with the soaring female vocals and growls doing battle, and the band opts for epic, orchestral death metal on the monstrous "Loser's Ballet". "Crown of Creation" will easily appeal to fans of In Flames as well as the gothic metal sounds of Sirenia, and "End Begins" combines crushing death metal with complex progressive metal quite nicely, featuring some tasty guitar & keyboard interplay. If you like your metal with a symphonic flair, you can't go wrong with "As Words to Bullets" or ""Bloodpact", both which have plenty of intricate guitar riffs from Sebastian Reicht & Gart Rymen, soaring keyboard orchestrations, blistering rhythms, Sabine's rich clean vocals, and the harsh growls from Prem. The final track "To Where The Skies Are Blue" is a tender ballad that has "hit single" written all over it, with Sabine's lush vocals floating over gentle piano melodies. It's not really in synch with the rest of the songs on the CD, but shows how much talent this little lady has, especially in a more pop based format.

With all the metal bands popping out of the woodwork that feature female vocals in a starring or co-starring role, Deadlock seem to have the upper hand at the moment. The music on Wolves is crushing, at times complex & brutal, yet they inject enough beauty and melody which helps keep things varied and highly addicting. Judging by the results here, if there's one European band who toils in the extreme/progressive metal genres who has a serious chance for breakout potential, it just might be Deadlock.



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