Deadlock
Manifesto


3.5
great

Review

by Pine Cone Massacre USER (202 Reviews)
January 4th, 2009 | 39 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The best Deadlock album to date. Powerful dual vocals meet Scandinavian melodic death metal minus the orchestration and gothic atmosphere of Wolves.

Vegan, straight-edge, chick fronted, melodic death metal from Germany complete with soaring orchestration and a rapid fire dual vocal approach. This description can only mean one thing. Deadlock. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator II, Deadlock is with a vengeance. Although the band is fresh off of releasing an album in the previous year, Deadlock remain poised to maintain relevance in the metal community as the only vegan, straight-edge, chick fronted, German, melodic death metal band in the world. A brief one year hiatus aside, Deadlock have returned in late 2008 delivering one of the years catchiest metal records of the year in Manifesto. This album will have you banging heads, and crooning along with your bro in a rather un-manly embrace.

One year ago, the previous record “Wolves” had been released and although generally a success story, it was bogged down by a few factors that hurt it in the long run. Namely the songwriting and overly slick production come into play. Wolves had several stand out tracks including the stunning “Code Of Honor’ but suffered from “safe songwriting syndrome.” The band didn’t really mix anything up, instead, relying on the same old heavy verse to a booming clean chorus closing with a blazing solo for desert. Don’t get me wrong, the techno break/ Rapidash solo was incredible but these kind of moments were to far and between. And when the band decided to try something new, like the rock oriented “Dark Cell” and the uninspiring ballad ‘To Where the Skies Are Blue”, they didn’t really succeed. Fortunately, all of this and more has been corrected and improved on.

So as I blast Manifesto for the first time, the intro of Moribund Choir” makes away. One thing is certain, the techno is back. Opening up with a beat similar to Mortal Combat, I begin to change into my Sub-Zero gear. I was then rudely interrupted before I finished by the brutish opening of “Martyr Of Science. The song featured a heavy verse, and a clean chorus, and even a solo at the end, but I knew something was up. Everything sounds so much more fresh than Wolves. Sabine’s voice was incredible, easily the best performance that I’ve ever heard from her to this point. Her voice was also less nasally and processed than before, letting her natural talent shine to the forefront. Vocal patterns have improved significantly between Joe and Sabinbe minus a few awkward moments from the harsh vocalist. The interplay between the duo is much more balanced and comfortable than Wolves, resulting in a fresher album and several standouts. Growling is as powerful now as on previous records. Joe is at his finest when he utilizes the deep and guttural technique. When he opts for a higher strain, he is not as effective but thankfully he doesn’t stray there too often. As for the guitars, Scandinavian melodic death metal is the name of the game. Quick and furious riffing meld with technically proficient solos and spacey synthesizers. Solos have been restrained slightly, which is actually a benefit because Gert and Sebastian could have passed off as Herman Li and Sam Totman on Wolves. This way the solos are more memorable and less annoying. They form a solid rhythm foundation with bass player Thomas’s purring finger work. Tobias is a solid drummer alternating through thundering blast beats, standard double bass, and quick fills. Pretty basic formula but efficient nonetheless.

As I said before about songwriting, Deadlock have improved significantly while throwing in a few surprises along the way. Lyrically, Deadlock still retain a militant P.E.T.A stance that would make even Earth Crisis blush. They promote straight-edge and vegan pride like it’s going out of style. Fortunately, this time the lyrics hold more meaning, especially on “Seal Slayer” when the band explore the atrocities of seal clubbing. One of those surprises that I would like to bring up was the invitation to a famous ex Scar Symmetry singer. Christian Alvestam appears on the track “Dying Breed” and after a tumultuous opening, it really begins to pick up steam. The transition from Sabine to Christian is marvelous one, I just wish that he sung on a better track instead. Another curve ball was thrown in “Fire At Will” with it’s extravagant saxophone solo. Saxophone? Yeah, and it rules too. That’s hardly the last thing to pop out and scare the listener. My favorite moment occurs during Death Race. Typical blistering Deadlock for the first few moments. In the middle of the song, it breaks into an eerie silence before erupting into a delayed solo. Well, as soon as I thought the song was over, hip hop beats replace the guitars, and a slew of rappers take over the mic from Sabine and Joe. As you imagine, all the loyalists might get their panties in bunch and complain on you tube. I actually like it. The rapping is great, the beat is surprisingly catchy, and the lyrics while leaning on the cheesier side of things, are quite informative.

All in all, Deadlock have found their creative niche with Manifesto. I’ve already started reading things about this new album in magazines so it’s only a matter of time before these guys get bigger in the metal scene. My only complaints to this album would be the unnecessary f-bombs and somewhat disappointment of “Dying Breed.” I don’t really see why Deadlock feel the need to curse, although not too excessive, the f-bombs are still there and tackier than Aborym at a Christmas party. As for Dying Breed, I feel the song could have been so much more but I guess I’ll just settle for the excellent second half of the song. Fans of melodic death metal, Paramore with solos, Earth Crisis gone Arch Enemy should get on this. This is in my opinion the greatest album that Deadlock has produced. So far anyways.


Recommended:
1.Altruism: Cello and piano filled ballad featuring great vocals from Sabine.
2.Martyr To Science: A storming mid-tempo metal track with an incredible chorus and bridge.
3.Temple Of Love: A softer, middle eastern influenced song embracing rock more than metal. A perfect overdub to Dark Cell.



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3.3
great
other reviews of this album
Ryan Williford (3)
This sextet has managed to release an enjoyable album, but it has some flaws that the album as a who...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Essence
January 4th 2009


3585 Comments


Not your best work, but good job anyway!

gaslightanthem
January 4th 2009


5209 Comments


fantastic review - band are pretty cool. some tracks are really really good but the band tends to enjoy throwing several utterly uninspiring songs on every record ffs!!

BallsToTheWall
January 4th 2009


44333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I hear that a lot. Probaly because I never proof read on micro word, but thanks man.This Message Edited On 01.04.09

Digging: Pharmakon - Abandon

fireaboveicebelow
January 4th 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I thought you submitted this already

BallsToTheWall
January 4th 2009


44333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Na. I wrote this today. I have nothing on my current plate to review so I decided to get this done. Now, I got nothing. Bone dry well of nothing to review. How as this? I feel I should edit my second paragraph without a glance.

Hawks
January 4th 2009


35824 Comments


Wolves was decent, but not good enough to make me want to check this out. Good review though Balls.

Digging: Engraved - Before The Tales

BallsToTheWall
January 4th 2009


44333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Least you could do Hawks is myspace or last fm this. I eat closemindedness for breakfast.

Hawks
January 4th 2009


35824 Comments


Haha its possible. I might be surprised.

foreverendeared
January 4th 2009


14678 Comments


great review. had me laughing out loud in parts especially this:

This album will have you banging heads, and crooning along with your bro in rather un-manly embrace.
i'll check this out now

jrowa001
January 4th 2009


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this band got really boring really fast. pretty bad album with a couple ok parts. sounded like the band tried too hard to make it different with all the saxophone, rap, and what not they added. This Message Edited On 01.04.09

BallsToTheWall
January 4th 2009


44333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well, no. I mean, this slays Wolves without question. With a celtic long sword at that. Band rules.This Message Edited On 01.04.09

gaslightanthem
January 4th 2009


5209 Comments


bahahaha

Pebster49
January 5th 2009


2992 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

very good review, I agree this is better than Wolves

Tyler
Emeritus
January 5th 2009


7926 Comments


They just sent me this and I honestly have no real urge to listen to it. The descriptions in the press release were nauseating.

foreverendeared
January 5th 2009


14678 Comments


it's a pretty fun album not gonna lie

BallsToTheWall
January 5th 2009


44333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, you wouldn't like this Cocaine. It is a fun album, Jrowa makes me a sad panda.

fireaboveicebelow
January 5th 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't think they tried too hard but I do think it sounds rushed

jingledeath
January 5th 2009


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Cool review Balls, but way to positive (especially about the rapping). Also I'm shocked you don't have The Brave / Agony as a recommended track.

BallsToTheWall
January 5th 2009


44333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's a good song, not one of my favorites. The rapping wasn't terrible enough to whine about. And uh, yeah one song on here I think sucked badly but forgot to write about. This Message Edited On 01.05.09

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
January 5th 2009


1992 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hooked me from the intro. I'll have to check this out.



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