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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

The Deadlights

The Deadlights

Review by Gary Hill

This album certainly fits into the hard rock/metal vein. However, it is not limited by a single style or format. Indeed many of the songs come from varying schools of metal and one cut in particular really doesn't fit as metal at all. This is a new band, and they are looking like they will have a strong career ahead of them. With any luck, the Ozzfest tour they are playing this year will propel them the way it did Godsmack last year. The band is Duke, Jerry Montano, Billy Roan and Jim Falcone.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Bitter
Beginning with ambient textures and a strange looped laugh, this intro could come from a Hawkwind album. The verse is in a strong, hard rock mode while the chorus comes across as death/thrash metal. It features a very interesting instrumental break. The verse that follows the break is in more sedate tones and feels a bit like a combination of Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson.
Amplifier
Techno sorts of sounds start this number. The rest of the intro is a bit in the mode of Static X. This one alternates between a mid-tempoed texture and fast paced aggro-rock. It features a bridge with a very strong vocal presence. "I feel so much stronger than I have before". Many influences seem to merge on this one, including Static X, Metallica and Nine Inch Nails.
Nothing
Pretty and mysterious keys with some sound effects start this number. Although brief, this intro is another with Hawkwindesque elements. The majority of the composition is very melodic metal that works quite well. It does, however, contain some more death metal oriented moments. The instrumental break here is full of drama and intriguing textures. This cut feels a bit like Powerman 5000 at times.
Sweet Oblivion
Beginning in a retro metal mode, this one is reminiscent of `80`s metal. It feels a bit like Enuff Z'Nuff and Motley Crue at times. This is a great melodic rocker. It is another track that has a potent instrumental break. This is the first major showing of the versatility that this band has.
Junk
Back to the darker, faster tones, this is another that calls to mind Powerman and Static X.
Sado
More ambient, Hawkwindesque sound effects start this one, but the cut comes in fast and furious. As it drops into the verse, the texture is a bit like Janes Addiction. The cut alternates between the frantic and furious (almost coming across as harder edged Zeppelin) and the more melodic. It switches gear into a very Black Sabbathesque riff with a vocal line that really works well. The outro calls to mind Kiss' Unholy. This is a very strong number.
Foolish Pride
With an acoustic guitar intro, this is a strong ballad that gets hard edged at times. It is another cut that seems to update the `80`s metal genre. This one is another standout cut.
Whores
Another in the Powerman mode, this one has a NINish mode to the verse and a death metal texture to the chorus.
Pox Eclipse
A song about the Apocalypse (the title is meant to be how a child might pronounce the word), this one is hard-edged, but quite melodic. The number features a quirky instrumental break. It drops to more sedate tones for dramatic change. Then, as it builds it does so by intensifying on the themes from that sedate segment, getting considerably heavier toward the end.
Distant Sun
Odd, somewhat off kilter and dissonant tones start this cut. The track overall is hard edged, but still has a bit of this off kilter texture throughout. The tone to sections of the cut are a bit prog metalish at times. However, the cut does have a definite death metal tilt to it also. This one, a fairly short cut, really covers a lot of musical ground.
Time
Starting off much more sedate, the cut features an extended intro. The intro tends to get just a tad progish and has an almost world texture to the rhythmic structure. It then switches to high gear for a time, and then returns to the earlier themes as the vocals enter. The number jumps into thrash/death tones at times, alternating between that and the earlier stylings.
Falling Down
A major change of pace, this composition is an acoustic number with strong percussion and definite late '60's/early '70's themes. If anyone had any questions about The Deadlights' versatility, they would disappear upon hearing this number. It brings in a lot of sounds ranging from Hawkwind to Led Zeppelin and The Beatles.
 
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