South African metal heavyweights Deadline recently celebrated the release of their sophomore album ‘Cathedral Point’ through BLOODKRIEG Records, and it is rightly worth commemorating!
Recorded by Mike Wright (Gloryvale Studios), and mixed & mastered by Heinrich Köllner (Burning Tone Studios), the record stands as a testament to the group’s punctiliously crafted sound through years of refined experience.
Hope N’ Pray
Before I Die
High-Tops & Bullet Belts
Only The Strong Survive
Hailing from the heart of Pretoria, the group has been active on the South African music circuit for around six years, and has previously received multiple accolades for their work through the South African Metal Music Awards (SAMMA).
The highly anticipated ‘Cathedral Point’ has finally arrived, and it seems a most promising paragon of local metal mastery – bringing to the table a rich modern take on more traditional forms of the genre.
‘Cathedral Point’ is a fruitful bouquet of colourful tonality and abstract technicality. The artists paint a vivid picture throughout the record’s timely course.
The instrumental opening track ‘Cathedral Point’ aptly introduces the record by most eldritch portage and sets an evocative scene through which the second track ‘Hope N’ Pray’ tears through like a rampant freight train – the sheer immensity of the drumming drives through the record distinctively; with precision and consistency much akin to the likes of notable performers in the field such as Tom Hunting (Exodus) and Brent Smedley (Iced Earth).
This is most befitting to the nature of the record, and it is matched immaculately by a mighty low-end – foregrounding the monumental sound of the band’s backline, which lays the rails for the unflagging engine throughout its momentous journey. The prominence of this backline is further accentuated on tracks like ‘Before I Die’ and ‘Shapeshifter’.
As the freightliner pushes on, the guitars seem to take flight and weave their way through the scenes as sidewinder missiles towards the crux of each track’s respective climax.
Lead and rhythm guitar sections work incredibly well together and lend themselves to synchronicity at the appropriate moments – by this the group flaunts its compositional mastery through its judicious approach to tonal blending and stylistic nuancing.
Coupled with the backline, these sophisticated techniques of blending and nuancing hint towards the meticulous structural devices used by groups such as Megadeth and Judas Priest – in this way capturing the true essence of early metal subgenres.
This is brought to the foreground beautifully on tracks like ‘Dark Divination’, ‘Only The Strong Survive’ and the epic closing track ‘The Watchers’. The overall quality of the performance is phenomenal, and highlights the formidable abilities of these talented local musicians.
The unbound train hurtles on, and atop the hallowed smokebox rests a most Herculean war-horn. The vocals, which constructively complement the colossal compositions through which they surge, stand as an untainted proclamation of Deadline’s stately legacy.
Powerful diction is carried by electrifying phrasing and incredibly unique tonal variation – this is where the great novel unfolds, where the message moves, declaring the group’s sovereign disposition in the local industry.
Each line is intricately threaded through the abrasive fabric of this otherworldly assemblage. The vocals find their spotlight on tracks like ‘Hope N’ Pray’, ‘Before I Die’ and the thunderous ‘Clandestine’, which charges towards an apex with a most provocative wail: “We need the truth!”.
The result is most appropriately comparable to that of noteworthy veteran groups such as Dio, Manowar, HammerFall, and Blind Guardian; and would certainly appeal to fans of these longstanding titans.
With all things said, one may find Deadline’s new record to be most worthy of acclaim. The group has managed to find a firm footing in a formidably distinctive sound, through which the artists successfully set themselves apart, while simultaneously refurbishing the sounds of many memorable predecessors – setting Deadline in a tier above their more modern metal contemporaries, while still appealing to fans of the traditional subgenres.
‘Cathedral Point’ serves as a remarkable example of the quality of South African music that can be produced within its bracket. Deadline holds the flag high overhead the rolling engine as the train barrels down the tracks tempestuously towards its new-found spectators.
Reviewed by : Duke Negus for SA Music News Magazine
Get your copy of Cathedral Point HERE