DEADLOCK — The Arsonist (review)

DEADLOCK — The Arsonist album cover Album · 2013 · Melodic Metalcore Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
On paper, the music of German melodic death metal act Deadlock doesn't sound like something that would appeal to me very much. The band's ultra-melodic and almost “commercial” approach to extreme metal wouldn't usually be my cup of tea, but something about 2011's Bizarro World really grabbed my attention and put Deadlock on the radar for me. I loved the way the album blended catchy hooks with atmospheric arrangements and heavy riffs, and although a few important changes have been made with 2013's The Arsonist, Deadlock's sixth album once again shows their music in full force.

The Arsonist features a few lineup changes, as vocalist Johannes Prem has left the fold and ex-bassist John Gahlert has become Deadlock's new male vocalist. Ferdinand Rewicki of Fall of Serenity has taken over bass duties on The Arsonist, and the album also marks the departure of longtime guitarist Gert Rymen. These lineup changes may have inspired a bit of a change in Deadlock's music, as The Arsonist draws more heavily on the band's groove-oriented and metalcore-influenced side than did past releases. Although the album isn't a radical departure from Deadlock's earlier efforts, I could see it alienating fans that are allergic to chugging riffs and breakdowns.

That being said, tracks like “The Final Storm” and “The Arsonist” are top-quality Deadlock, and the rest of the album is still enjoyable from start to finish. The Arsonist is a definite step down from Bizarro World, but I'm happy to hear that the band is exploring new things... even if the older formula yielded more exciting results.
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