The Arsonist


It has been a new era, a sudden change of scenery, a different perception towards […]
August 1, 2013
Deadlock - The Arsonist album cover

It has been a new era, a sudden change of scenery, a different perception towards the echoes entering one's ears to cause pleasure other than torment and disgust. However, why letting go of a rather good identity in order to be marketable? Well you can ask METALLICA and BON JOVI, among the many lost and never found, about these matters. As for myself, since Metal and Rock are precious, and believed to be enough of a ground to develop and succeed in, why turning one's back on it, even in a somewhat slower rate? DEADLOCK, the Bavarian, used to be melodic Death Metal band, proclaimed to be undergoing changes for a better future for their music. Since their second release, they always had that sensibility towards Pop and Electronic music other than the catchy Gothic Metal doctrines, especially with Sabine Scherer at the helm, yet that fine late 90s Gothenburg Death Metal of theirs sustained its domain over the material. But things changed, and one might think it was for the better. Newly signed to Napalm Records, after being a long time with Lifeforce, DEADLOCK sprung a different face with the release of "The Arsonist".

For years I found DEADLOCK to be a distorted vision of the early first decade of the 00 of the Swedish IN FLAMES, closer to the "Reroute To Remain" era. Furthermore, the addition of Scherer alongside John Gahlert seemed to have elevated the band's popularity as a showcase for additional worlds in Metal music. Notwithstanding that factor, the same indistinct apparition I was talking about aroused with that factual Death Metal buzz within its contemporary grounds, assembling crafty melodies and chronic harmonies, intense rhythm guitaring smearing heaviness, smacking soloing and relentless growl vocals that seemed so clear even while spewing lyrics grossly. With the emergence of "The Arsonist", it was as if a chip of DEADLOCK's mainframe was lost or damage for an apparent reason. Something within their distinction of their own craft degenerated into an essence of cheapness. As it would appear, "The Arsonist" displayed DEADLOCK's modernism as even more Poppier, less melodic without much sparking moments, too electronic, croakily Metalcoric and partially soulless. Scherer has her influence still meaningful, yet while the music around her mashing up, it is no use.

Don't get me wrong, DEADLOCK still has a measure of aggression bequeathed deep within its entity like on "The Great Pretender" and "As We Come Undone", as the two tracks that more or less inspired like their earlier creations of the previous decade. The BRONSKI BEAT cover of "Small Town Boy" was also pretty neat, performed rather well. Others were decent and sadly below what I expected, especially the closer, "My Pain", which almost ached to listen, such an Electro / Pop with some Metal to prove that there is something left in there. Moreover, with a few standouts soloing (which sounded like digital keyboards) and a few melodic lines, DEADLOCK nearly lost what they had on their previous "Bizarro World". If the change was also driven by marketing, it should stop now, otherwise, at least after judging this album, the only way is down, no matter how hefty and flaunting their future productions, like this here one, will be.

6 / 10

Had Potential

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"The Arsonist" Track-listing:

1. The Great Pretender
2. I'm Gone
3. Dead City Sleepers
4. The Arsonist
5. Darkness Divine
6. As We Come Undone
7. Hurt
8. The Final Storm
9. Small Town Boy (Bronski Beat cover)
10. My Pain

Deadlock Lineup:

Sabine Scherer - Vocals
John Gahlert - Vocals
Tobias Graf - Drums
Ferdinand Rewicki - Guitar
Sebastian Reichl - Guitar

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