Genre: melodic death metal
Another melodic death metal band from the Gothenburg area? Oh no, not another one of those! They all sound the same!
Well, Deals Death actually is not yet another Gothenburg melodeath clone. The influence from the likes of At the Gates and early In Flames is definitely present, but Deals Death have actually avoided the typical Gothenburg sound altogether, opting instead for a slightly more thrashy and slightly rawer sound. There are, of course, lots of melodic elements, and Deals Death also make use of keyboards and other electronic effects every now and then to add a further melodic dimension - other than that, the central element is the guitars, which provide both solid riffs and catchy melodic leads and harmonies.
For some reason, the two first tracks 'Collapse' and 'Fearless' failed to rock my world, but it did not take long for the third track 'Eradicated' with its blend of thrashy aggression and classic metal-derived riffage to convince me that this is indeed a good album. I particularly like the uptempo and thrashy approach and Deals Death's ability to seamlessly go back and forth between thrashy, melodic, and groovy bits, and there are even a couple of power metal moments every now and then (just check the closing track 'Illumination') The keyboards come across a bit cheesy every now and then, and the screamed vocals can be a bit too much at times, but this is a minor point and does not change the fact that this is one of the better melodeath releases in recent years.
As a collective of musicians, Deals Death live up to the title of this album. The rhythm section is rock solid, and the guitar solos are virtuous, but never steal the picture. The production is not as polished as is otherwise typical of melodeath, but it is still clear and well defined and definitely does not disservice to the music on this album.
With "Elite", Deals Death have taken melodeath a couple of steps away from the pop direction that more recent melodeath artists have been moving towards and re-injected the aggression that characterized original Swedish melodeath back into the genre. Fans of At the Gates, Arch Enemy and early In Flames should definitely check it out.