Release DetailsLABEL Lifeforce Records
RELEASED ON 6/13/2006
posted on 7/2006 By:
Deadsoil’s second album starts off with an out of character driving, mid paced melodic intro that’s a bit of a feint for the rest of the song as well as for the rest of the album. This relatively peaceful intro is quickly smashed apart by the gruff barks of the vocalist who comes across as a raspier version of Lou Koller from Sick Of It All. Even more surprising than the opening is their quick reverse back into the intro riff with a batch of clean vocals accompanying it. This isn’t their first flirtation with clean vocals but it sets the precedent that this album is not going to be a rehash of Venom Divine.
Following the opener is “Cross The Great Divide” which brings us back to familiar territory with a ripping thrash inspired rhythm guitar intro that these guys showed they were capable of dishing out in spades on their debut EP and album. And like their previous effort, the thrash riffs here and on the rest of the album are quickly cooled with stomping breakdowns but instead of expanding into more complex timing this go around, Deadsoil stubbornly stick to their very simplistic take on breakdowns. This lack of inventiveness and/or technicality puts them at a serious disadvantage to the increasingly intricate music of their American counterparts but whether that’s a conscious choice, and it seems to be given the quality of the rest of their songwriting, it comes across as another case of “if you can’t do it well, don’t do it at all”. It does add some pacing and dynamics to the otherwise fairly blunt songs but it’s hard to muster up excitement for an element that so many bands do better. Plus this band kills it when they break out the speedy thrash riffing so it’s almost always disappointing when they deviate from it.
After the initial barrage, things start to get a little choppy on the fourth track, “These Stings”, which is basically a ballad with distorted guitars and another small bout of clean vocals. I’m not sure what they were thinking sticking this song right in the middle of the record or even writing it in the first place but there’s an ok breakdown towards the end that saves it from being a total write off. Things pick up speed again on the next cut with the best track on the album. “Viper” starts with a swift rhythm intro similar to the one found on “Cross The Great Divide” but ups the ante with equally swift double bass drumming. But what really sets this song apart is that they finally manage to overcome the constant crutch of uninspired breakdowns with an effective combo of their most technical breakdown and then their most simple breakdown of the album. On top of this the singer delivers his most impassioned performance of the entire disc before ceding control to the guitarists who dish out a tasty take on mid paced melodeath style soloing only to bring it back to the money shot intro riff and subsequent centerpiece breakdown.
From here on out it’s up and down again with a decent track after “Viper” but that’s followed by another slower, although not quite ballad song where they once again bring out the clean vocals. Like “These Stings” this song is salvaged by some faster tempos late in the song and another quality breakdown but doesn’t stand up to the other material on the disc. This is followed by the obligatory acoustic interlude which marks another low point before closing on a round of solid songs that, while good, never quite manage to recapture the energy of the openers and the stellar “Viper” (can you tell I like that song?)
Not surprisingly my other favorite track is the closing instrumental. After opening with an almost note for note rip off of Slayer’s "Mandatory Suicide", the song marches through a battery of top notch Slayer inspired rhythm riffs which had me wondering why they put so many good riffs in one song instead of spreading them out. Had they doled these out amongst the lesser songs, this album would have been a worthy follow up to their debut record which was chock full of thrash riffs throughout. Instead we get some very good songs weighted down by a few not so good ones. I guess most albums are like that so it’s almost redundant to point out but I just want to make it clear that fans of their debut may not find this latest release quite as compelling.
Register to post comments.