There are certain things that I don’t expect in life, things like well-written articles in Maxim or yoga pants that tell the truth, so when I pressed play on my iPod Nano to listen to Deadlock’s new album, The Arsonist, I did not expect the thrashy, detuned guitar riff intro, subsequent sweeping arpeggio guitar lead, and momentary blast beat into a groove riff. Then, only a few moments later, after some brutal, layered harsh vocals, the catchiest vocal hook ever sung by Sabine Weniger, who’s gorgeous by the way. With a piano and clean guitar bridge, “The Great Pretender” is easily one of the most surprising tracks I’ve listened to as of late, especially because the only other band aus Deutschland that I can think of off the top of my head is Rammstein, which Deadlock sound nothing like.

For those who are unfamiliar with Deadlock, they are comparable to Lacuna Coil, just heavier, and in my opinion, with more creative guitar writing. The more popular melodic metal bands have had tendencies in the earlier 2000s to play detuned power chords with some synth parts here and there, but Deadlock has taken a modern approach to the genre, kind of like Soilwork has, where the drums and guitar play super tightly with one another, often times with very staccato rhythms that keep the energy level high. Other modern elements include processed drum intros (distorted or otherwise effected) and finely produced vocals.

I can’t emphasize how excited I was to hear the clean vocals on this album. They are frisch as hell, past the border of Dope and Dankness. The title track, “The Arsonist”, is fire starter material. Some heavy ish goes down on that jaunt and would complement any action flick from Vin Diesel’s IMDB of stealing/racing/exploding cars and/or things of value.

Track Listing:

01. The Great Pretender
02. I’m Gone
03. Dead City Sleepers
04. The Arsonist
05. Darkness Divine
06. As We Come Undone
07. Hurt
08. The Final Storm
09. Small Town Boy (Bronski Beat-Cover)
10. My Pain

Run Time: 39:42
Release Date: July 26, 2013

Check out the ‘The Arsonist’ album trailer