Deadline’s sophomore album takes us to the church of heavy metal to worship at the alter of epic riffage!
Review by Matt Nijland
26 June 2020
The album is packed with epic heavy metal goodness from beginning to end. The lead single from the album, “Before I Die”, is an anthemic call for people to unite and believe in themselves while we’re still alive, driven by a mighty trio of guitars and the shriek of Jesse Switchblade for us to heed the Reaper’s cry! Be sure to check out the epic lyric video for the song further down the page!
I also love how the band is able to make the three individual guitars of Judge Mental, Raven Chaos and Skullprint blend together in such a musically satisfying way. This particularly shines through for me on tracks such as “High-Tops & Bullet Belts” and “Clandestine” – two of my personal favourite songs on the album. The harmonised dual lead guitar solos are played in perfect pitch and timing, all driven by a solid wall of rhythm guitar behind it. It’s truly a testament to how powerful and unbreakable the band’s synergy is on this album.
The DeadlineUp: Jessy Switchblade (Vocals), Raven Chaos (Guitar), Judge Mental (Guitar), Dizzy Styxx (Drums), Skullprit (Guitar) and Baz Steel (Bass). Photo credits: Baz Steel.
When listening to this album, it’s impossible not to envision the guys packing out a stadium for an ear-rupturing and face melting show, complete with a frenzied audience, pyrotechnics and amps that go up to 11. I would especially love to hear the opening intro track “Cathedral Point” setting the mood for the show, followed by the sudden contrast of the opening riff of “Hope N’ Pray” in a live setting. I also love the track for showing how the band isn’t afraid to attack us with the full onslaught of their mighty sound from the get-go, telling us to keep up with THEM!
One of the most interesting songs for me on the album is definitely “Shapeshifter”: a song that constantly “shifts” moods between a haunting lullaby, groovy metal verses, choruses that pick up the energy, and my absolute favourite part, a phaser-driven bass breakdown accompanied by beautiful acoustic guitars. The band has an amazing sense of melody in the guitars and vocals, but I also want to commend Dizzy and Baz for serving each song with a phenomenally tight rhythm section that keeps the songs punchy and exciting! Also major props to Jessy for his jaw-dropping vocal range from shrill shrieks in “Before I Die”, to guttural shouts in “Clandestine”, and all the power of a metal vocalist you can imagine in-between!
Congrats on the absolutely brilliant release boys! I’ll be playing it on repeat and can’t wait to hear it live!
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About the Author: Matt Nijland
Matt joined the SA Guitarist team as a journalist and editor in February 2020. He is also well-known as the lead guitarist and band manager of the South African alternative rock band 3’s and 7’s. He is very passionate about the local music scene and hopes that SA Guitarist will draw more attention to it on a local and international scale. Click the red text to visit Matt’s social media pages on Instagram: @matthewnijland and Facebook, and follow his musical journey and muses.