Deadlock – The Re-Arrival (Lifeforce)Tuesday, 19th August 2014
Heavy metal isn’t exactly fertile grounds for greatest hits compilations short of the “big” names. There’s always a degree of trepidation that comes when these sort of albums are announced, as most metal fans are niche collectors and many end up scavenging up to find all the holes in their discographies. For these reasons, it should be known that Deadlock’s The Re-Arrival (a clever take on 2002’s The Arrival) is a surprisingly excellent compilation for both new fans and old.
As someone who has followed the band since Earth.Revolt, the “re-arrangements” on most tracks are minimal, but it’s a solid selection of songs that represent the band nicely through the years (the biggest questionable missing track would be “State of Decay” from Bizarro World). The re-arrangement of “Code of Honor” is a bit more interesting than the rest though, as they used Marcus of Heaven Shall Burn as a guest vocalist and it gives the track some new spice. There is also a brand new re-imagining of “Awaken By Sirens” with its fancy 2014 tag, but unsurprisingly it doesn’t top the original classic. There are three new tracks added in as well: “Ocean’s Monument,” “A New Era,” and “The Arsenic River.” “A New Era” is the pick of the bunch; a bit more mellow and focusing on Sabine’s consistently gorgeous vocals. But all three tracks find better traction than Deadlock’s most recent and sadly disappointing full-length The Arsonist (the first to feature John Gahlert on vocals), which gives hope for the band’s future material, combining their need to explore new territory while retaining a bit more of their roots.
The biggest treat for long-time fans is disc 2, which features some demo and rare tracks. Hearing the rough, hardcore sounding Insist demo and listening to the band grow with the few accompanying tracks from the Deadlock 7” to the beginnings of their “sound” with songs from I’ll Wake You When Spring Awakes and The Arrival is quite cool. There is also a Running Wild cover, an acoustic version of “Awakened by Sirens,” and a version of “Earthlings” sung in Japanese to round things out.
The Re-Arrival is the type of compilation album that you can tell some TLC was put into. The opposite of a cheap cash-grab, there is a little bit of something for everyone. A rare compilation whose value far exceeds its price tag.