Deadlock - Hybris

10 songs
48:46 minutes
***** ***
Napalm Records


Itís been two decades since the inception of German death metal band Deadlock, and a lot has happened in these years. Guitarist Sebastian Reichl is for instance the only remaining member of the original line-up. Their previous album The Arsonist came out in 2013, followed by two further line-up changes. Very tragic was of course the demise of the bandís original drummer who passed away after his battle with cancer. There is also a new singer with Margie Gerlitz, replacing Sabine Scherer who just gave birth to her second child.

The opener, fitfully titled Epitaph, is dedicated to their late drummer. It might feel strange that this track is fierce death metal, but somehow one has to vent oneís frustrations. Even though this track features the new vocalist only sparsely, itís obvious that she has made it through musical education. Her melodic, crystal clear voice knows how to please. Usually she is in charge of the choruses, while the verses come with high quality death metal growls. The songs have plenty of pace and mood changes a cover a wide territory ranging from Swedish tinged death metal over gothic to symphonic metal parts. You hardly ever get to hear the two vocalists at the same time, but when they do it, as on Carbonman, it also works really well. The first single Berzerk surprises with electronic sounds and a very catchy chorus. Itís known by now that Deadlock are a very varied band, but their black metal influenced version of Johannes Brahmsí Ein deutsches Requiem, also dedicated to their late friend and drummer, sounds very unexpected. The female voice sounds very high and operatic, thus truly appropriate for a requiem. Especially the songís finale is moving, with both vocalists seemingly trying to duel each other. This is followed by a minute of silence, before the concluding Welcome Deathrow once again offers finest melodic death metal. As a bonus the album comes with a ninety-minute-long DVD showing the bandís path from Tobias Grafís death to the conclusion of Hybrisí recording sessions.

I am happy that Deadlock never gave up, despite the great misfortune and numerous line-up changes that plagued the band. Deadlock still achieve the same high level of quality and once again managed to release a suspenseful album full of sizzling tension. There are not that many differences to the predecessor, so Hybris delivers exactly what the fan base must have expected.

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