Deadline – Vitriol Inc
Release Date: 05/05/2023
Running Time: 48:01
Review by Beth Jones
Well hello there my honourable friends! It’s been a while since I had a chance to put pen to paper, but I thought I would just dust off some cobwebs (and I had a small gap in my work schedule!) It’s been a testing few months here at EMHQ, but, as always, music has been both a comfort and a mainstay.
Anyway, enough of the small talk! Today’s subject is South African Heavy/ Thrash/ Power Metal band, Deadline, and their new album “Vitriol Inc”. Hot on the heels of a couple of singles, the press release declares Deadline as ‘The pioneers of the New Wave Of South African Heavy Metal’. And right off the bat (if South African Heavy Metal is anything like British Heavy Metal) you can definitely see that.
What we have here is some no-nonsense, raw as you like, face melting riffs, combined with powerful vocals, epileptic drumming, and wandering bass lines that would have had the 80s positively tripping over itself with pure rocking excitement.
They do tease us in with the opening track ‘Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum’, using synth and drums that makes it feel like we’re going to be falling into some Industrial inspired Modern Metal. But they do away with that misinformed idea pretty quickly, with ‘Vitriol’ dropping into the classic raw style of early Thrash and Heavy metal. Although we do get a lull in the middle of this track, for a bit of indulgent guitar, it picks you up and slams you back into the wall again without missing a beat.
There’s some pretty nifty guitar work going on throughout this record too. The solos ride high above the chugging rhythm guitar, using the classic gain sounds of the ever-trusty Marshall amp (fun fact, when I first started learning guitar, I had one of those tiny portable Marshall amps, and even though it wasn’t more than 8 inches high, it still had that same sound). There’s a point where two guitars track each other an octave apart, creating a bit of variation from the high-octane fury that’s been unleashed.
Another nod to the 80s comes in every song’s incredibly catchy choruses. Simple lyrics and easy to remember melodies give every track that stadium singalong possibility. There are lots of power moments in the mix as well, especially with frontman Jessy Switchblade’s vocals. He loves a dramatic high note! It on occasion reminds me of one of my favourite UK bands, Hell.
I think my favourite track on the album is actually the one that’s not too pummelling – track 8, ‘Exhale’. It’s more of a melancholic ballad, which I do like a lot.
So that’s the good stuff, and it is pretty good. So why have I only given it a 7? Well. There are some occasions where the vocals are either too high or too low in the mix, and I think this is more to do with the vocal itself than the mixing. The more growly bits, and high notes, are great – so I would stay stick to the stuff you’re great at, rather than trying to include the kitchen sink.
There’s also not much variation in the structure, or key of the songs. While there’s nothing wrong with that as such, because that’s what the genre’s all about, personally I find it a bit boring after a while. But I’m a prog girl by heart, so I would, wouldn’t I?
Apart from that though, I can’t really pick much fault with this album. If you love thumping old-school Thrash and uncomplicated Heavy Metal, then this is the album for you.
‘Vitriol’ Official Music Video:
01. Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum
03. Cult Of Prometheus
04. Synthetic Illusions
05. My Sweet Apocalypse
07. Ghost Of Kyiv
09. Devil In Disguise
Wrighteous Mike – Drums
Judge Mental – Guitar
Jessy Switchblade – Vocals
Damian Dread – Bass
The Skullprit – Guitar
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.