Dead Lord - Surrender review


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Band: Dead Lord
Album: Surrender
Release date: September 2020

01. Distance Over Time
02. Letter From Allen St.
03. Authority
04. Evil Always Wins
05. Messin' Up
06. Dark End Of The Rainbow
07. Bridges
08. The Loner's Way
09. Gonna Get Me
10. Dystopia
11. Hands Down [Moon Martin cover][CD Digipak bonus]
12. Moonchild [Rory Gallagher cover][CD Digipak bonus]
13. I Staden Som Aaldrig Slumrar Till [Letter From Allen St. with Swedish lyrics][CD Digipak bonus]

Waving the white flag with pride.

The rise of bands with their hearts in the 70's while their feet are in the 2020's has led to a healthy scene being spawned. Among the ranks of this scene are Sweden's Dead Lord, who sound very much full of life; Surrender sounds like the sonic fusion of Thin Lizzy and UFO, a hybrid that tips its hat to the old guard while keeping their eyes focused on the future.

If you want to step away from the sonic arms race that much of modern metal and rock overindulges in, and just want a record that gets back to basics and nails, it then Surrender at least shows that 2020 isn't a complete write off. Stepping out of line and going where their hearts take them, Dead Lord make the music that they like, and this seeps through the headphones loud and clear.

Much of the album is mid-paced rock n' roll that sounds familiar but is presented in a new package; while not the most original album, it makes up for it in maintaining a high level of quality by skimming the cream of the crop of their influences and combining them into one solid sound. "Evil Always Wins" and "Gonna Get Me" are heavily indebted to Thin Lizzy, to the point you expect to see the name 'Lynott' on the song writing credits. Wearing their influences on their sleeves is something you feel the band do with pride, and to give the devil his due, the band write some of the best Lizzy-esque music I have heard since the real deal.

The album is seeped in the classic rock sound, guitars that derive their power from the riff rather than effects, often doubling up and duelling, drums that thump and pound but don't overwhelm, and an overall retro feel that captures the feeling of nostalgia perfectly. Surrender doesn't live on past glories, however, with the album benefitting from improvements over the years, sounding clear and crisp, allowing the songs to breathe in an atmosphere best suited to their style.

Krim and Hedenström offer up some strong six-string work that imitates and powers the album well, with some fine riffs on tracks like "Dark End Of The Rainbow" and "The Loner's Way". Krim's vocal work balances power, charm and melody in perfect measure, being the highlight of tracks like "Messin' Up". The rhythm section of Nordin and Lindmark underscore this album well, adding little touches here and there that do not immediately jump out at you, but add subtle elements that make tracks like "The Loner's Way" all the more impressive for their inclusion.

What Surrender suffers from is a case of a lot of the songs of the album melding into one, with much of the material sounding similar to each other to the point that the album does blend together a bit too much. There are moments dotted around that do immediately jump out and punctuate the album, such as "Gonna Get Me", and once you're acquainted with the record you can tell them apart; however, for a casual listener you will likely find the album feels like one long 40-minute experience rather than a ten-track record.

Perhaps the cause or a symptom of this is the lack of an immediate stand out track; Surrender is a fun listen for sure, but for a band who draw their inspiration from groups who made it their business to write classics, Dead Lord are unable to produce one of their own on here. While expecting a classic track isn't something I go into a record demanding, it is something the album circles for much of its duration, with songs like "Distance Over Time", "Authority" and "Dark End Of The Rainbow" coming close but ultimately lacking that something to elevate them and subsequently the album as well.

This is not to say that the album is not enjoyable, I found myself putting Surrender on repeat and just getting lost in the music. Nostalgia is a hell of a drug, and being able to repurpose and repackage it this effectively should see Dead Lord's name thrown around in conversation much more often.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 8

Written by omne metallum | 05.09.2020



Comments: 3   Visited by: 63 users
05.09.2020 - 20:12
Saw these guys when Century Media (I think) did a livestream festival. Should probably give this a spin soon.
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.

2020 goodies
06.09.2020 - 05:12
This band fucking nail harmony like thin lizzy !
11.09.2020 - 16:46
omne metallum
Written by Metalex on 06.09.2020 at 05:12

This band fucking nail harmony like thin lizzy !


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