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Deadsoil - Sacrifice Review

by Dan Upton

Let's cut straight to the chase: for the most part, Germany's Deadsoil is "just another" metalcore band. Sacrifice is their second full-length on Lifeforce Records, followup to 2004's The Venom Divine that gained them props from Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta as "one of the most promising acts in the worldwide hardcore scene." The promo copy claims this as one of the year's "most brutal assaults," but let's be realistic, most heavy bands want to proclaim themselves the heaviest thing of the year/ever, so let's sidestep that and just get down to what this 5 piece actually put together.

The most noticeable thing, in comparison to a lot of American metalcore acts, is more convincing execution of the Eurometal/Gothenburg sound. When they want to. Which sadly is not always. Songs like the opener "Unspoken" have all of the formulaic ingredients that make Soilwork successful, stacking one melodic guitar part over the lower rhythm, catchy melodic choruses, and the guitar interludes and solos. On the other hand, the followup track "Cross The Great Divide" is more of an exercise in attempting a straight-up bludgeoning that comes off as abrasive but ultimately run-of-the-mill. Guitarists Boris Pracht and Jens Basten work well as a team, mixing things up with both harmonized lines and melodic work over the riffs, and can also lock in tightly with bassist Andreas Schuessler and drummer Christian Bass for the breakdowns.

The real issue is when they seem to lean toward targeting the metalcore market more so than staying true to their Euro roots. Songs like "These Stings" and "Viper" have their successful parts, but then they also have the extended, low string chugging breakdowns that have started to sound more like everybody-has-one-of-these than a way of making heavier a particular part of the song. The vocals are also so-so overall: Friedrich Weber's melodic vocals can be decent but there's something about the chorus to "These Stings" that strikes me as overly put-on or hammy; the rough vocals aren't bad either, but they're nothing special.

The bottom line is, from a general metalcore perspective, Deadsoil have put together a pretty solid package. From my point of view, on the other hand, it's disappointing to hear some moments of potential brilliance, such as the acoustic interlude "Remembrance," or "Echoes," that might as well be a Soilwork song, only to have them marred by the generic bludgeoning I've heard on plenty of other metalcore discs. Still, this is better than average and wouldn't be a bad one to pick up.

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