Deadlock: Earth.Revolt

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Deadlock: Earth.Revolt
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Deadlock: Earth.Revolt
Melodic Death Metal
Lifeforce Records
June 27th, 2005
Release length: 54:11
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Deadlock is a German Melodic Death Metal act that formed back in 1997. Th group tends to focus more on some of today’s social cards, such as relationships, self-liberation, but with a strong focus on Veganism as well.Of course, Earth.Revolt is the second full-length effort by the group, eight years after the band formed, but it’s more then likely the first that many have heard, as their debut album was issued on a smaller record label, as well as their EP and Split release with Six Reasons to Kill. Earth.Revolt nicely introduces the world to the band, who, musically, is actually not all that different from a lot of the band’s of that time, but some of the mterial still retains a darker atmosphere, but can sometimes have a rather mellow feel all of it.

One of the bigger draws to the album is the additional session member, Sabine Weniger, who handles keyboards, as well as offers some vocal to some of the songs, such as “10,000 Generations in Blood” and “Awakened by Sirens”. The group itself, however, is rather standard, but the music that is performed is often executed very well. Many of the songs on here aren’t very complex in any way, and can sometimes have some chords that sounds typical for a Melodic Death Metal act, but the slower nature of some of the material here, much like something off a Dark Tranquillity release, still has a great bite to it, but often can be a soothing experience, especially when coupled with the additional keyboards. “10,000 Generation in Blood”, for example, finds great life from the keyboards adding an extra layer to the music that is soothing and beautiful, especially at the end, which, either way you look at it, does feel forced into the mix, but for the better.

Much like the aforementioned Dark Tranquillity similarities in the speed of the music, as well as in the generally darker overtones of the music that occur through the guitars, as well as the keyboards, there’s no denying that the band is heavily inspired from many other Melodic Death Metal acts that, to this day, are still well known. “The Year of the Crow”, for example, shows some similar In Flame guitar chords throughout the song, but prodominantly at the start. This track also features what could easily be desribed as a slightly failed breakdown, but it works out well as it has the same bite of a well done Metalcore breakdown, but without hindering the music in any way by being a naturally flowing element of the song.

Aside some of the comparisons that can be found throughout Earth.Revolt, there is yet another element of the recording that holds the band back a bit. The vocals on here are a generally higher pitched style, as if taking the general Black Metal approach to vocals, but adding a gutteral kick to them. While the performance itself is somewhat suiting to the recording, it very monotone. There’s no real emphasis put anywhere in any of the songs, and the approach taken to the vocals just winds up adding to the traditional element of the band’s recordings. Given the softer nature of the tracks on this release, one would look at the vocals as a means of trying to push along the somewhat soothing atmosphere some of these tracks have, while feeding off the darker nature of the music itself, again, much like Dark Tranquillity, but the problem is that there’s not really any energy to them, and sometimes, like during the last third of “Everlasting Pain”, where it seems like he just tries to get it out but is either too weak and just comes out as more of an effort of relief, or just a hurried approach to get the song over with. Of course, another similarity can be made here on some tracks to the higher pitched vocal performance that adorns the release by At the Gates, but just with far less enthusiasm and energy to be entertaining.

But yet, a good amountt of it all works. Earth.Revolt may not be all that unique or original, but the laid back feel to some of the songs, coupled with the darkened atmosphere, does many plenty of these tracks stick out, and the additional keyboards that appear through some songs to either add background ambience to the recordings, or add a whole other layer with a more classical composition, many tracks come up solid on this recording, and enough to warrant a return visit from the listener. Of course, the tracks that are more duets between the session female vocalist really do impact the album. There’s no denying that “10,000 Generation in Blood” sounds great with her voice and keyboard skills added to it, as well as “Awakened by Sirens”, which is simply a phenomenally performed track by the entire band, and the flagship of the release. Outside of those songs, “Everlasting Pain” makes for a great track, and “More Tragedies to Come” is just your generic Melodic Death Metal song that is done well, with heavy music, fantastic guitar distortion, and decent vocals that, like many other tracks, could have been better if there were a little more emphasis on it. The guitar solo at the end of this track, however, does feel tacked on, though it does nicely go into the more original sounding “Awakened by Sirens”. “More Tragedies to Come” should have honestly just ended, perhaps faded to black, then had the guitar solo kick in at the start of “Awakened by Sirens”, leaving it as an original composition to that song. Of course, while “Awakened by Sirens” is a great songs, it features what is the most powerful male vocalist performance on the entire album, but the problem is that it only helps to solidify the At the Gates approach to the style on this release.

Earth.Revolt may not be the band’s actual debut album, but considering how unavailable the original debut was, this is perhaps best to be classified as that release. It shows a band that has some strong ideas as far as the music goes, but seems to be blending a bit too much together from their inspirations. The music on many of these tracks winds up being very solid, though clearly not too original at times, and the vocal drastically need improvement, though they are the farthest thing from horrible. If the amount of enthusiasm that was used on “Awakened by Sirens” were placed into the rest of the album, it would definitely be a far more powerful release from Deadlock, but until then, the group will continue to write enjoyable music that could be far greater then what it is, with the main jaw-dropping feature actually coming from someone on the album that actually is not a member of the band in the first place.

01. Demonic (Tonus Diabolus) – 0:31
02. 10,000 Generations in Blood – 8:04
03. The Year of the Crow – 4;11
04. Everlasting Pain – 6:45
05. Earth.Revolt – 4:35
06. More Tragedies to Come – 6:03
07. Awakened by Sirens – 5:25
08. Kingdom of the Dead – 5:36
09. May Angels Come – 11:12
10. Harmonic – 1:49
Overall Score: 4.5/10
Deadlock (band)
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Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.