Deadlock - Earth Revolt (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Earth Revolt (2005)


Here's the concept, now run with me on this. The world is we know -- it is completely exploited and decimated by mankind. Chaos ensues, the world is completely destroyed, leaving nothing in its wake. After that, a new era arises and things are again right and just in the world. What you just read is actually the concept behind German death metal band Deadlock's newest album Earth Revolt. Sounds innovative and exiting, right?! Death, suffering, destruction, Deadlock are treading brave new ground within the black metal genre.

All ostracizing and poking fun aside, and as much as I strain to find any sort of redeeming value in this genre, I can find myself enjoying this in a lot of spots. If you're looking for a straight comparison, cast a glance in Darkest Hour's direction, because minus the inclusion of keyboards and some female vocals that Deadlock bring to the table, there's not a whole lot that's different.

If you take some quick, distorted riffing, scruffy vocals, and a lot of clean soloing, you essentially have an understanding of the album's basis. No, it's nothing different at all, but the European metalheads do have a solid command of what they're doing, and while not new, a lot of the song structures are put together pretty intricately. While the vocals are great all the way around, it's likely to be the guitar work that catches people's attention. Black metal is a style fairly well known for its speedy riffing and soloing, and Deadlock seemingly excel in that spirit. The speedy and sometimes technical melodic chord progressions contrast fairly well, and the grooves and rhythms are equal parts tight and heavy. "Everlasting Pain," despite terrible lyrical imagery speaking of fire and pain, is actually one of the better songs to be found, with relentless drumming and the album's best guitar work to be found. It's heavy, it's driving, and all still with a somewhat melodic flair.

Strong as the musicianship is, Deadlock run into a few problems along the way.

On a few tracks, the band makes the decision to include some female singing amongst the harsh screaming that had been previously present. Now, don't misunderstand, as the singer they chose to include has a very beautiful, angelic voice, but her presence changes the band from a formidable force in the world of black metal to Evanescance. The singing just grates against the power and presence that Deadlock were working to establish. Further troubling is the inclusion of keyboards on a few tracks. While in some instances it could heighten the atmosphere of it all, it ends up as more of a detractor than anything else.

This is a pretty black and white release. If you're into death or black metal, you'll no doubt be enjoying this. If you've always felt that the style was more cheese than substance, this isn't liable to change your opinions, but for what it is, a decent release.