Deadlock Earth. Revolt.

Concept albums are notoriously prevalent in any genre. Linking lyrics into a cohesive schema brings the music into a different realm of meaning for both the artist and the listener. Rarer, but not unheard of, is a single framework dominating the thematic content of consecutive albums. Deadlock’s continuing working premise is one exploring the imagined chaos of world destruction and the new life that arises from its ashes; quite possibly the most tired metal lyrical exploration to date. Prolonged guitar harmonies and a penchant towards gothic melodies colour the thrashing Soilwork underpinning, ultimately coming across like a cheapened amalgamation of many contemporary European groups. They leech typical riffing and throw in a few metalcore breakdowns to confound the air of dull predictability. In a fatal but differentiating step, they include singing female vocals, bringing Lacuna Coil to mind and the cheese factor to a million. This aspect produces a dynamic that seems appropriate given their conceptual premise and though not a dominant force, a powerful and versatile addition to the musical landscape. Unfortunately, these few distinguishing moments aren’t enough to bring this album out of the mediocrity that defines their postulate. (Lifeforce)