Deadlock - Manifesto review
|Release date:||November 2008|
01. The Moribund Choir Vs. The Trumpets Of Armageddon
02. Martyr To Science
03. Slaughter's Palace
04. The Brave / Agony Applause
06. Fire At Will
07. Seal Slayer
09. Dying Breed
11. Temple Of Love [Sisters Of Mercy cover]
12. The Brave / Agony Applause [live acoustic version] [limited digipack edition bonus]
13. Martyr To Spam - Planetakis Vs. Deadlock [DJ Morgoth remix version] [limited digipack edition bonus]
Wikipedia defines a deadlock as a situation wherein two or more competing actions are waiting for the other to finish, and thus neither ever does; it is often seen as a paradox like "the chicken or the egg". Deadlock, the band, somehow nods at that. Yes, they're primarily a Melodic Death Metal band, but there's more to it, it's not exactly complex music, but there's a sense that they can blend into their music anything, any seemingly disparage element you can think of, this band could probably make it sound "Metal" and put it in between grunts and riffs for 2 seconds or 2 minutes - but ultimately they leave it to you to decide whether what they do really works or not, there's no pretentiousness about it.
What's the value of the linings of a musical genre? Can a band dwell in experimentalism, follow whims without compromising its consistency, pursue a mould, not want to get out of it but constantly see beyond it, or is that bound to destroy anything significant one could make? "Manifesto" is very direct in asking you to reconsider your preconceived ideas on genre song structuring, set your mind free and enjoy what you're being given, these wonderful little whispers that sound so right and simple and yet so original.
If you like big refrains, you can have them. If you like melodic riffs, you can have them. If you like harsh growls, you can have them. But Deadlock hold no barriers on their creativity, they don't care about what may or may not sound strange on first listen, they'll use female vocals if they want to, they'll use intricate electronic arrangements if they want to, they'll even make hip hop if they want to (oh, yes, they dared).
I've heard "Earth.Revolt", I've heard "Wolves", and basically what I can say is that the uncompromising attitude of the band has not only allowed them to mature and evolve, to make them better instrumentalists, but also to make them a much easier listenable band. Because their 2005 album had charm but felt incomplete. Their 2007 album was fast and varied but not always pleasant. Now "Manifesto" is everything they've ever aspired to be without sounding uptight or restrained, no, this album is immediate, it's atmospheric, it has a personal imprint, you can go from "The Brave", possible the catchiest song they've ever made, to "Dying Breed", a vibrant and dark epic-ish opus, and notice this.
So, what are the limits for Deadlock? I don't know. I know they like their Melodic Death Metal, but I don't know what they're going to do with it. Sabine is wonderful, Sebastian is wonderful, and we'll just have to keep paying attention to them, because there's a sense with Deadlock that there's always room for improvement. The challenge here is to constantly try to decide if their unusual choices are justifiable or just take it for what it is and not for how much you start by thinking it shouldn't be. That's what so disconcerting about paradoxes. Does it matter if the chicken came before the egg or the other way around it, or, if you like chicken and eggs, should you just shut up and eat?
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