Surprise of the week comes from Swedish melodic death metal band Deals Death. Their second album, “Elite”, was the only new metal release I could find on iTunes today (though I had to dig for it, and apparently they released it last week despite my calendar saying this week.) So I picked it up because it sounded potentially appealing.
Upon first listen I thought “Oh, these guys are yet another Children of Bodom-sounding band; this will probably suck.” You see there are a lot of mediocre bands that pattern themselves after better bands and just end up sounding weak and derivative. However, if a band sounds somewhat like another band and they pull it off well, and pack a lot of energy, then I can still get behind them. There is only so much wiggle room in melodic death metal, so if they are any good they probably sound reminiscent of somebody, somewhere.
Well, let me tell you, they pull it off. The passion, energy and vigor with which Deals Death attack their music leaves you no choice other than to like them. While mediocre bands passively release music that they hope you will like, Deals Death's music takes the initiative, grabs you by the throat and demands your attention and respect. They have both from me. “Elite” is so catchy and yet heavy that it has me doing air double-bass at my desk (I’m one of those annoying leg-bouncing people who cannot sit still. But in this case both legs are going full-tilt.)
A quick run-down of the album: The vocals are harsh but understandable and the music is heavy and frequently fast. The music is not just a bed for the vocals but has a lot of texture and personality. This is melodic death metal, so of course, there are plenty of wild melodic leads. The production sounds great, I have no complaints in that department.
I know Deals Death was a surprise to me, so I expect it might be for you too. I’d never heard of them before seeing them on the list of new albums for release, but I’m glad I gave them a shot. Check them out on their MySpace page. The songs you can stream are a mix from both their albums, but there is a video from the new track “Fortified.”