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Release Date: July 8, 2016
German metallers Deadlock return with an album no one could have anticipated. The band have suffered incalculable losses over the last few years, most notably the death of drummer/founder Tobias Graf and the departure of female vocalist Sabine Scherer (replaced here by Margie Gerlitz). What could have been the band’s angriest, pissiest, most anti- album ever is instead a masterpiece of contemplation and hope.
“Epitaph” opens the album with the typical Deadlock grind, falling somewhere between Metalcore and Death Metal, but sprinkled with the hopeful and positive soar of Gerlitz voice. The chorus here is just aces man. It’s the perfect balance of heavy guitars and class. The title track gets down and dirty with its chaotic guitars and near Black Metal vocal, but, again, Gerlitz’s voice acts as an anti-depressant as the band lets the chorus groove while the clean vocals cleanse the palette. The guitar solo is top notch as well, leading brilliantly into the softly sung Lord’s Prayer before finishing it out with the groove. It’s a brilliant song and touching tribute that will give you goosebumps. “Backstory Wound” is another highlight that trades heaviness for contemplation three-quarters of the way through before the song works itself out with an intricate solo that will make the band’s peers stand up and take notice.
My favorite thing about this album though is how Gerlitz’s voice acts as the calming agent to the intensity/pain of the screaming vocals, making this much less of a beauty & the beast approach than the other albums. Hybris has a cathartic sound that I’m sure will reach far beyond the band’s own camp. This is an album that offers hope to people in pain above all else and that, my friends, is pretty rare these days. If you are a fan of Metal or need to hear that the Sun will rise again then Hybris is for you. This is easily one of the best of 2016 so far.
Reviewed by mark1340