DEADLOCK - The Arsonist

Deadlock - The Arsonist

10 songs
39:43 minutes
***** ****


Despite having been around since over a decade, with five album releases between 2002 and 2011, I have never come across Deadlock before. This has now changed with their sixth record The Arsonist, on which Deadlock prove that they have a lot to offer.

Their original death metal sound has more or less vanished, if you can overlook some male growls that are featured on every track, even though they play a subdued role. John Gahlert definitely does a good job, but even more interesting is the clear vocal performance by Sabine Scherer, whose emotive voice comes close to Anneke van Giersbergen. This helps the band to add new influences into their music, coming mostly from the alternative and modern metal genres. The band doesnít even shy away from commercial components, but is smart enough to prevent sounding too lightweight. Most tracks run for more or less four minutes because the musicians always get right to the point without getting lose in their structures. The pop like Iím Gone would be a great choice for a single edit, and the wonderful hymn My Pain sounds much more lively than its title might suggest. Of course there are also heavier tracks on the album, but donít expect to find anything too aggressive. The only extreme part are the often abrupt changes between heavy and melodic parts. Even though they donít always sound harmonic, I like them anyway a lot. Examples of this can be found on Dead City Sleepers and the title track, where the band proves that despite some noisy moments, they are technically very apt. Even the piano ballad Hurt feels authentically emotional, although I prefer the faster tracks. The only negative aspect from with the Bronski Beat cover version Smalltown Boy, where Deadlock sound too much like Atrocity who covered the same song on one of their Werk 80 album. From a lyrical perspective, Deadlock are also quite different from other genre bands. Donít expect your typical violence topics! Instead the songs are dealing about relationships, social awareness, freedom and veganism. The latter one of course because all five band members are vegans.

I donít really care much about the bandís eating habits, but in the end itís all about the music, and in that aspect there is nothing wrong with The Arsonist. Deadlock are unafraid to occasionally experiment and is able to combine different styles in a very refreshing way.

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