Deadlock – “Hybris” CD / DVD (Napalm Records)
Definitely a band of extremes, Deadlock mix djent with melodic death metal, all capped off by the dance soul femme vocals of Margie Gerlitz! Beginning in the late 90s playing hardcore, it wasn’t long before the band evolved and began employing orchestral elements and later, electronics. The inclusion of Sabine Scherer saw the band expand to a six piece employing dual ‘beauty and the beast’ vocals and this would continue over the course of their next albums until 2013’s “The Arsonist”, which saw the band go back to a five piece following the departure of guitarist Gert Rymen. This heralded further changes as founder drummer Tobias Graf left and later tragically passed away owing to cancer (and commemorated by a minutes silence on the album), and the retirement to family life of long time singer Scherer, leaving only guitarist Sebastian Reichl as the sole original member. Despite all of this, the band sound amazingly good and energetic on this seventh new album (and accompanying 90 minute DVD documentary)! New arrival Margie Gerlitz certainly makes her presence felt through soulful dance harmonies as well as some operatic wails in perfect complement to John Gahlert’s long established gruff vocals and beastly roars. Reichl, the anchor of the band, drives the music aggressively with heavy djent riffing backed by Ferdinand Rewicki’s rhythm, together producing some heavy chundering matched by the pounding rhythm of Werner Riedl’s double bass drumming. That said of the beast inherent in Deadlock comes the beauty of Gerlitz’s aforementioned feminine wails, along with some superb guitar melodies and subtle but no less atmospheric keyboards on captivating songs like ‘Welcome Deathrow‘, ‘Berserk’ and the outstanding ‘Ein Deutsches Requiem‘ that aptly defines this amazing band of multiple contrasts and their brilliance in bringing it all together!