Deadlock
Bizarro World


3.5
great

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
March 14th, 2011 | 73 replies | 14,160 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Even fans that are used to Deadlock’s quirky style and tendency to change with every album are going to have to take a deep breath and accept their biggest transition yet.

Deadlock has been around since 1997 and over the course of four albums they have constantly pushed their melodic death metal sound in new directions. Whether it is with powerful female vocals, metalcore and techno influences or even a bit of hip-hop, the band has always looked to add more elements to their core sound. That's why it might come as a shock to learn that Bizarro World is a complete 180 from the 'everything but the kitchen sink' approach of Manifesto. Instead of trying to add even more elements to this album, the band have shed their death metal roots, cut unnecessary experimentation, reduced the multiple tangents, and replaced it all with a rock and pop influence that places Sabine Weniger's powerful vocals front-and-center.

Although opening track "Virus Jones" begins with enough force, several factors soon reveal that things have definitely changed. The band has almost entirely strayed from their melodic death metal roots in favor of a rock-centric version of metalcore that finds them not only altering their guitar sound but the riffs themselves, as well. Quite simply, the guitar parts are no longer a huge focal point of each song and, as such, lack the focused aggression and creative energy that previous albums contained. Instead the band has moved towards a grittier guitar sound that leaves the riffs with much less personality and power – a change that has also reduced the amount of melodic leads, as well. This was done in order to showcase the stronger pop influence that is created through the use of electro/techno elements, piano melodies and an increased contribution from vocalist, Sabine Weniger. This new approach is augmented by an emphasis on huge hooks that consistently reduce the tempos/aggression in favor of simple, keyboard-driven melodies and Sabine's beautiful vocals. These changes are definitely going to cause some discontent among fans that prefer the band's older style, but this album can definitely grow thanks to Sabine's much larger role.

Tracks such as "State of Decay" might be much tamer than most of Deadlock’s previous work, but it's hard to ignore the infectious quality of the music. The delicate piano melodies contrasted with occasional percussive loops and an undulating synth line work perfectly as a vessel for Sabine's total vocal domination of the track. Thanks to her it's not just the chorus that ends up being catchy, it's the whole damn song. This is also a good time to compliment the band on finally integrating their techno/electro influences into the music instead of just tacking them onto songs haphazardly. It's the reason that a track such as "Renegade" works so well. It begins with Sabine crooning, "All I asked for was a smile…" over a layer of synth that is so poppy and slick that it could have transitioned seamlessly into dance pop without a hiccup. Instead, the techno synths pick up the tempo while introducing a danceable rock beat and death growls. It's really those contrasting dynamics that include gritty riffs, techno/electro interjections, harsh growls and powerful clean singing that make this entire album the enjoyable listen that it is.

It must be said that Bizarro World is definitely going to require a little work for most listeners. Those unfamiliar with the band are going to be asked to accept a quirky metalcore/rock hybrid that integrates a considerable amount of techno elements while featuring death growls contrasted with very mainstream and poppy female vocals. The group that might have an even harder time with this album, though, are the old fans because they're going to be asked to accept that this isn't Wolves or Manifesto Part 2. They're going to be asked to grow with the band as they explore a much more refined direction that eschews random tangents and death metal aggression in favor of huge hooks and focused songs. Both of these groups should at least try to let Bizarro World sink in, though, because not only is it easily Deadlock's most streamlined, focused and accessible album to date, but it's also a damn good metal album that is actually able to occupy its own little niche.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
March 14th 2011



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Stream: http://music.aol.com/new-releases-full-cds/#/8

Video: http://sputnikmusic.com/blog/?p=5740

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

violentmog
March 14th 2011



73 Comments


Sounds interesting. The main reason I ever listen to Deadlock is for Sabine anyway, so I will checking this out. Good review too.

ButcheredChildren
March 14th 2011



5591 Comments


the video for Virus Jones is sexy

LTDA
March 14th 2011



281 Comments


This review makes the album sound like a complete travesty to any metal fan.

Fuck this band.

ButcheredChildren
March 14th 2011



5591 Comments


maybe before you completely toss this band aside you should read my review for a second opinion

Willie
Moderator
March 14th 2011



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Maybe before he completely tosses the band aside with some dipshit statement like "This review makes the album sound like a complete travesty to any metal fan" he should pull his head out of his ass and stop acting like your stereotypical metal fan straight out of the 80s.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 14th 2011



30863 Comments


Trey, that comment doesn't suit your avatar

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

ButcheredChildren
March 14th 2011



5591 Comments


Speaking of 80's I found first print of Girlschool's "Hit And Run" for 5$
It was an exciting moment in my life.

bloc
March 14th 2011



34660 Comments


Looks can be deceiving, Trey's a cold mf.

The chick in this band is hot, will check this out.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Willie
Moderator
March 14th 2011



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Trey, that comment doesn't suit your avatar
Ha ha. It was a moment of weakness where I posted exactly what I was thinking.

Looks can be deceiving, Trey's a cold mf.
and apparently on steroids ;)

I like all kinds of metal from the traditional stuff to the off-the-wall stuff, but no type of fan has the potential to be more frustrating with the stupid shit that comes out of their mouth than your stereotypical metal fan. It has definitely got a lot better, but there are still your holdouts.

Apollo
March 14th 2011



10239 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

hmm..I will check this out Trey but I'm not expecting much. Kinda sounds like this might be the bands 'Shallow Life'

drewkar
March 14th 2011



94 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Album sucks compared to their previous two.

Digging: Monuments - The Amanuensis

pizzamachine
March 14th 2011



12571 Comments


I didn't really like this and thought I would considering that In This Moment made a similar transition, and I liked it. Great review though.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 14th 2011



16242 Comments


Great review Trey. I've heard a couple of songs by this band and hated them all so I'll steer clear.

Willie
Moderator
March 14th 2011



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

hmm..I will check this out Trey but I'm not expecting much. Kinda sounds like this might be the bands 'Shallow Life'
I'll try to put it in perspective... it's like this band's Shallow Life in that it's their most mainstream release, but this album is still much heavier and more 'metal' than Shallow Life -- it still has a lot of death growls. On the other hand, the amount of change between this and their last album is much more excessive than the amount of change between Shallow Life and the album before that one so it will probably upset a lot more fans than Shallow Life did.

Album sucks compared to their previous two.
I didn't appreciate this album when I was trying to compare it to their previous two releases too, but when I just checked it out as an autonomous release it grew on me.

ButcheredChildren
March 14th 2011



5591 Comments


I like this new approach
I kind of saw it comming after Manifesto
it was either keeping the experimental
or going mainstream
they'll never make another Wolves
and their mainstream sound is good for noobie death heads

Willie
Moderator
March 14th 2011



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

This was the first album that I heard from them and then I worked backwards through the last two releases. I like all three of them for different reasons, but this is definitely their most unique release. I also love female vocals and don't have a problem with pop music.

ButcheredChildren
March 14th 2011



5591 Comments


Wolves got me into them but I've been following them for years....
I can't stand how experimental Manifesto was so Bizarro World was make or break for me
I don't generally listen to pop music but this was a well crafted mix or mainstream rock and dm
Like you said it's unique and I find it beautiful because of that.

BallsToTheWall
March 15th 2011



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

SELLOUTS

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2011



15285 Comments


techno? metalcore? hip hop? This sounds awful. Nice review but I'll avoid this.

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus



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