Monday, 21 April 2014

CD Review: Elite, by Deals Death (2012)

Sweden's Deals Death play a fairly traditional brand of melodic death metal, distinguished by mildly symphonic elements and a satisfying rumbling roar emanating from a muscular bass/drums combo.

Elite, the band's second album, is functional without breaking new ground. Olle Ekman's mid-range low-key growl is mixed behind the band's signature power and fury. The tracks are built on solid foundations of melodies pregnant with grand ambitions, and the themes are sound.

The album lacks moments of brilliance, the compositions rarely rising above the competent but vaguely familiar. The guitar work of Erik Jacobson and Sebastian Myren is adequate but without any sharp or original solos to make it sparkle, and it's left to bassist Fredrik Ljung and drummer Janne Jaloma Parviainen to rumble the terrain, which they do capably.

Elite also suffers a bit from a sameness, all the tracks clocking in the safe range between 3:20 and 4:20, the tempo at the upper range of the medium, and the structures relatively predictable. A generally undistinguished production effort from the band does not help.

Fortified stands out as the most thrilling track, Deals Death pulling together all their elements into a chugging juggernaut of a riff with a playful guitar embellishing a massive wall of sound to perfection, Ekman's vocals at their frantic best. Conquer As One, the only title granted more than word, responds with a more scenic, lyrical and slower stance that hints at the band's potential for some complexity.

There is not much wrong with Elite, and also not much that is different.


Olle Ekman - Vocals
Janne Jaloma Parviainen - Drums
Erik Jacobson - Guitar
Sebastian Myren - Guitar
Fredrik Ljung - Bass

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Collapse - 8
2. Fearless - 7
3. Eradicated - 7
4. Fortified - 10
5. Elite - 7
6. Conquer As One - 8
7. Perfection - 7
8. Hierarchy - 7
9. Illumination - 7

Average: 7.56

Produced by Deals Death.
Mixed and Mastered by Jonas Kjellgren.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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