Deadlock Manifesto

When encountering a generally terrible album, one should be thankful when the perpetrators throw in moments of inspired lunacy. The latest release from German melodic death metallers Deadlock, an ostensible concept album, provides this in a couple of giggle-inducing moments. The band introduce Manifesto with burbling, generic synth pads, leading to a full-blown, albeit amateurish, techno intro. For the next few tracks, the band plough through perfectly Pro-Tooled riffs, Evanescence-styled female vocal angst and keyboard arpeggios wimpy enough to make Dream Theater look tough. I thought the looping string sample at the end of "Deathrace" was a nice touch until it turned into a full blown hip-hop track — nowhere is hip-hop or guest rappers mentioned in the album notes. Somehow, this ends up leading into "Fire at Will," the best track on the album, if for no other reason than its crunchy rhythms and a completely out-of-place sax solo (read: not that spaced-out, Sigh-style sax). Deadlock are encouraged to pepper their albums with more ridiculous touches, and perhaps give joke metallers like Gwar and Lordi a run for their money, sans costumes. (Do Right!)