(Lifeforce Records) Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1 "Earth.Revolt" is the latest offering by one of Germany's newer exports and their second proper full-length effort. Throw in the obligatory 7", MCD/EP, and Split-with-some-friends-that-play-in-another-cool-band-we-like, and you have their entire catalogue.
This being my first encounter with this Schwarzenfeld-based bunch of crazy Vegans, and being that they are on a predominantly metalcore label, I didn't go into this with my expectations far from zero. Boy was I pleasantly surprised. The instrumental intro, "Demonic Tonus Diablos" commanded attention from note one with its sweeping, beautiful keyboard arrangement. Then the first real song, "10,000 Generations in Blood" kicked in, and it was 1997 all over again as I recalled my first listen of Dimmu Borgir's "Enthrone Darkness Triumphant". The rest of the disc is a veritable Whitman's Sampler of Scandanavian metal influences. The title track brought to mind "Colony"-era In Flames, while the superbly written "May Angels Come" tasted a sweet blend of Dark Tranquility and Necrophobic.
However numerous the obvious influences are, let that not detract from the fact that Deadlock are indeed a unique animal (not to be eaten of course) with plenty of style to call their own. The twin guitar attack of Sebastian Reichl and Gert Rymen, while already veracious and tight, shows an unlimited potential with more promise than you can fling a veggie burger at. The rhythm section of Tobias Graf and Thomas Huschka is nothing altogether special, but they do the job quite adequately. The harsh, grating vocals of Johannes Prem are almost borderline black metal at times which suits him and the band well as it enhances the overall intensity and conviction present throughout "Earth.Revolt". This is where Sabine Weniger comes in - she is the bow on an otherwise neat little package. She gets credits for the haunting keyboard melodies on the album as well as some backing vocals, but really shines on her lead performances on "Awakened By Sirens", and the piano-laden closer "Harmonic". She conveys so much feeling at times that it seems that the entire song might just implode from the emotional pressure.
This is definitely one of the top 10 melodic death releases of 2005. I certainly hope that this one doesn't go by unnoticed as so many great releases do. I anticipate much bigger things from this German outfit in the years to come. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up now.