Deadlock - Manifesto
Lifeforce Records
Modern Thrash-Core
11 songs (46:42)
Release year: 2008
Lifeforce Records
Reviewed by Pete

I've had this album trapped as MP3s in a dusty folder deep within my hard drive for a couple of months, occasionally letting it see the light of Windows Media Player. There are two reasons for this, the first is that I hope to become used to it and as a consequence warm to the whole experience. Sadly, for the most part at least, it rears its musical head because I have to listen again to how tuneless it all is especially after their last album, Wolves.

For those unfamiliar with Deadlock (that's the metal band, not the hard rock band, don't get confused) they began in 1997 and released a couple of demos before recording their first album, The Arrival in 2002. It contained keyboards and guest clean vocals from Sabine Weniger. Sabine was cemented as an official member for their second effort, 2005's Earth Revolt. 2007's Wolves was when, this reviewer at least, started to take notice. Although fairly panned in magazines and on review sites, citing the band as uninspired Inflames cast offs incorporating the ever-irritating metal core styling, I quite enjoyed the album. In my eyes the band were an alternative version to Scar Symmetry with their fiercely growled verses and pop music choruses (and Sabine does sound like she's from a pop band). The songs were fairly solid if a little one-dimensional but I was quite prepared for more of the same.

Manifesto is Wolves minus the hooks. It has turned a fairly unique blend into a tuneless din that relies on the formulaic growl/clean vocal trick and techno sections to get them through all eleven songs. It's as if a thief in the night has stolen all the band's decent guitar ideas. Opener Martyr To Science aside, the album doesn't actually have a memorable guitar hook. They use chugging and fast arpeggios as a replacement for an actual tune. Most of the guitar work is hidden under the boring monotone growling of Johannes Prem and in the end you're praying for Sabine to kick in to provide something that resembles a tune. Unlike her work on Wolves and Earth.Revolt her sections are pretty lifeless and seem stuck in at random acting at odds with the mayhem around her. It's as if she doesn't have a particular melody to sing, instead sounding like someone attempting to work out a melody in rehearsal.

I'm not sure if the band is trying to be clever or distance themselves from their obvious peers but their use of techno is truly dire. The opening taster of the The Moribund Choir vs The Trumpets Of Armageddon is over a minute of shitty drum loops and fancy sounds. Although I must admit it kicks into Martyr To Science very nicely indeed but this is more out of relief than anything else. It all smacks a little of Blood Stained Child but not as good or inventive. By The Brave/The Agony Applause the album starts to irritate because it's not delivering what Deadlock's previous albums had in spades. It is not until Deathrace that the irritation is turned into controlled rage. Not only is the song pretty dull but also the last two and a half minutes is a rap song. I've got nothing against rap as long as it doesn't invade my metal. It's an idea that will have any metal fan shouting 'Fuck Off' at the speakers. Personally I can't see the point of it, or the saxophone solo in Fire At Will, which is neither big nor clever, it just sounds bad.

The whole of Manifesto cries out 'rushed'. The songs aren't as well worked out and to compensate the band have incorporated techno sections, rap and saxophone in a hope that we won't notice. It is devoid of any real melody, guitar hooks and memorable performances. Out of the eleven tunes on offer, two are short instrumentals (title track included), one is a cover of Sisters Of Mercy's Temple Of Love and another is the usual Sabine led ballad which usually work very well. Out of that Deadlock have had only seven songs to get right and they've failed miserably. Only Dying Breed comes out unscathed largely thanks to a guest vocal by Scar Symmetry's Christian Alvestam. If you disliked Wolves you'll hate Manifesto and if you can't abide the growl/clean trick utilised by metal core and the Soilworks of this world this will just be as much fun as pushing pins into your eyes. Anybody still interested should check out their earlier albums and avoid this altogether, it's a poor example of its genre.

Killing Songs :
Dying Breed
Pete quoted 41 / 100
Alex quoted 63 / 100
Other albums by Deadlock that we have reviewed:
Deadlock - The Arsonist reviewed by Andy and quoted 62/ 100
Deadlock - Wolves reviewed by Ben and quoted 70 / 100
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