Release DetailsLABEL Shadow Kingdom Records
RELEASED ON 1/21/2013
Despite some noticeable heavy metal leanings, Chains Of Delusion is a thrasher at heart, enthusiastic and speedy and technical if not perfectly polished.
Chains Of Delusion
When this six-track EP first fell into my lap, I expected Deceptor to be more of a trad metal beast. Chains Of Delusion is released on Shadow Kingdom Records, for one, a label responsible for many great classic metal discs. Plus, the album art features a wizard taming (or at least capturing) what appears to be a not-too-distant cousin of the Metalion from the cover of Judas Priest’s Defenders Of The Faith. But though traditional metal certainly informs the style of this UK-based trio, Deceptor is a bit, well.... deceptive. Despite some noticeable heavy metal leanings, Chains Of Delusion is a thrasher at heart, enthusiastic and speedy and technical if not perfectly polished.
Of the four tracks on hand, two are toss-off vocoded spoken word bits, less than a minute of running time combined – the robotic vocals of “Transmission 1” and its follow-up add a science fiction slant to the EP, but little else. When second track “To Know Infinity” kicks in, that trad/thrash aesthetic is immediately obvious. Those opening riffs of “Infinity” gallop like a rawer, super-charged Iron Maiden, like some long-lost mid-80s speed metal troupe. Musically, Deceptor has both impressive chops and the confidence to show them. Bassist Paul Fulda and guitarist Sam Mackertich string tech-leaning riffs together with no hiccups, the guitars and bass weaving amongst one another to make this three-piece outfit seem like a larger band. Tempos shift effortlessly as the riffs fly by, and though the songs are constantly twisting and sliding, nothing is disjointed – everything fits into place.
Chains Of Delusion’s only sticking points are the production and the vocals, and both are relatively minor infractions, though it may immediately sound otherwise. Neither shortcoming comes up short enough to be a deal-breaker – neither is anything less than acceptable and never catastrophic – but both could be improved. The production is merely raw, clearly done on a budget – give this band a little further success, some more money to spend, and that problem will fix itself. Vocally, Fulda and Mackertich trade off leads within the songs, the styles running the gamut from thrashy growls to piercing early-Araya screams to dramatic mid-range cleans that sometimes remind of Warrel Dane, but less skilled. The melodies soar and dip, and sometimes, Deceptor’s complex songwriting ideas outreach their vocal talents, though not by such a margin that Chains Of Delusion fails. There's a rawness to the vocals that reminds me of NWOBHM stalwarts Raven (especially in those piercing screams), and that may be off-putting to some.
So, yes, there’s some room for improvement, but Chains Of Delusion impresses nonetheless. This is the band’s second EP – I’ve not heard the first, 2011’s Soothsayer, released on Chaos Dimension Records – and it’s enough to pique my interest and put Deceptor firmly on my “ones to watch” list.