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Death Dealer: Hallowed Ground

When a group of musicians with a strong pedigree come together, it often raises an expectation level that's simply impossible to live up to. However when members of Cage, Manowar, Halford and Empires Of Eden joined to form Death Dealer, they immediately put those worries to rest with a hard hitting album, Warmaster. Since then drummer Rhino (Manowar) has departed, but with skin thumper Steve Bolognese proving every bit his equal, Death Dealer, who are made of up Sean Peck, Ross The Boss, Stu Marshall, Mike Davis and of course Bolognese, return with album number two, Hallowed Ground.

As you'd expect from that line up, what this band specialise in is overblown US power metal with pounding beats, howling vocals and gigantic guitars. If that's your thing, hang on to your battle hardened helmet, for this is one hell of a ride. Peck, as expected, uses his full vocal range to engage and attack, however in Death Dealer he seems even more willing to take risks. The likes of "Gunslinger" or "Seance" finding clever and unexpected vocal melodies taking these songs from the norm and broadening their threat and impact. What doesn't surprise however is the overall ethos of Judas Priest meets Manowar via Armored Saint, the results a hugely memorable set of songs that take themselves seriously, but (crucially) not too seriously.

What is serious however is the force with which the mid-paced "Way Of The Gun" steamrollers over you, while "K.I.L.L." is ever bit as uncompromising and war ready as you'd expect. It's also, alongside "Plan Of Attack", "Total Devastation" and "The Anthem", a huge album highlight. Ross and Marshall are a gargantuan guitar combo, riffs careening all over the place, solos causing you to run for cover for fear of losing your head. While Davis and Bolognese combine with such a sense of purpose that each and every track smacks into its intended target with enough power to force an entire battalion into full on retreat.

Everywhere you turn there's a chorus which raises the banner for heavy metal fans to gather round and a guitar bombardment to drop jaws. Running alongside that however are clever little intricacies, such as the classy spoken intro to "Plan Of Attack" or the short Mexican flavoured "Ilega el Diablo" which sets the scene for "Way Of The Gun" quite beautifully. Confirming that no matter haw uncompromising Death Dealer are, they still know how to alter and vary the attack to sharpen their impact.

There's the beginnings of a serious renaissance in US power metal right now and with albums arriving with the confidence and fervour illustrated here, it's no wonder. If Warmaster was a mighty opening statement, Hallowed Ground confirms the class of Death Dealer.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
1. Gunslinger
2. Break the silence
3. Plan of attack
4. Seance
5. Ilega el Diablo
6. Way of the gun
7. K.I.L.L
8. I am the revolution
9. Total devastation
10. The Anthem
11. Corruption of blood
12. Skull & Crossbones
13. U666

Added: November 17th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Death Dealer online
Hits: 2684
Language: english

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Death Dealer: Hallowed Ground
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-11-17 15:23:02
My Score:

Just take one look at the line-up, which includes guitarist Ross the Boss (Manowar), bassist Mike Davis (Lizzy Bordin, ex-Ozzy Osbourne, Halford), vocalist Sean Peck (Cage, Denner/Shermann), drummer Steve Bolognese (Into Eternity, Baptized in Blood, Beyond the Embrace), and guitarist Stu Marshall (Empires of Eden, Paindivision, Saint Lucifer, Ronny Monroe), and you obviously can see the heavy metal pedigree of everyone involved. Death Dealer mean business, and their latest release Hallowed Ground is a face melting collection of potent US power metal that doesn't relent one bit from the start of "Gunslinger" until the end of the final track "U666". Peck's upper register wailing and gruff snarls dart & stab through a heavy onslaught of crushing guitar riffs and shredding solos from the duo of Ross the Boss and Marshall, stamping cuts like "Way of the Gun", "Break the Silence", "Plan of Attack", and "K.I.L.L." as nothing but pure, unadulterated classic heavy metal. "I am the Revolution" has 'anthem' written all over it, as does the chugging, epic sounding "Total Devastation". There's even catchier fare, such as "The Anthem", while "Corruption of Blood" tilts very close to trash with its manic riffs and jackhammer drum work.

I'm hesitant to call a power metal album 'brutal', but this is as heavy as the genre gets folks. Ross the Boss hasn't cranked out riffs this crushing in ages, and Peck proves once again what a truly great heavy metal belter he really is. Great band, great album-do not miss this one! For true metal fans only!

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