Progression and evolution are both essential for all bands hoping for a healthy career, though it also carries the risk of alienating already existing fans if that new direction is sudden or more than a gradual change. Swedish band Adept, with their latest album “Death Dealers”, are at a crossroads in that regard, receiving equally high praise for the new release as much as there is unrest from those wanting more of the sounds that graced their debut album “Another Year Of Disaster”. Whereas their first release brought in a screamo/pop approach “Death Dealers” attacks with a metalcore hardness and hardcore brutality, though the young quintet from Trosa still, in different ways, keep the melodic tones as a counter to the aggressive directness of their new sound.
‘First Round, First Minute’ hits out as the album opener with a strong riff over driving and firm drums as the guitar sound aggressively swoops throughout. The coarse, growling vocals of Robert Ljung attack the music with venom and feeling, working well with the music. The strange and actually good thing about the track is at times as a particular vocal piece finishes its harsh delivery, it is automatically expected and felt that a smooth vocal counter will come in, but neatly it never materialises. The track is basically a statement of intent for the album, informing that whatever worked in the past has been reviewed, evolved and energised, this is the new Adept way.
The group vocals that punctuate most songs are the source of a lot of the harmonies now, making the choruses alone leap out and compliment the intense sound. ‘The Lost Boys‘ defiant in unity, is a strong satisfying example, flowing from the guttural shouts to moments where clean vocals are briefly included. The flashy guitars stimulate the track into anthem like appeal alongside the mass vocals, Jacob Papinniemi and Jerry Repo showing impressive control and rarely venturing near the risk of going overboard. The impressive ‘No Guts No Glory’ continues the same attack and structure but blends in more variations in sounds, delivery and intensity that take them from a Bullet For My Valentine to Asking Alexandria in feel through a detour of Killswitch Engage.
One of a few strengths the music and album thrive upon is the driving directness of Filip Brandelius on bass, whose riffs punch you right between the eyes, and the adrenaline inducing drum onslaught of Gabriel Hellmark. They own every track and are especially impressive in tandem on the album’s best track ‘At World’s End’, as well as shaping the fine moments of ‘I’m A Failure, You’re A Tragedy’ and ‘From The Depths Hell‘. Their creative skill and complete control of a song’s direction allows the rest of the band to fill each track with layers of distinct sounds and flavours.
The one mild criticism to level at “Death Dealers” as an album is despite the definite high consistency throughout, with every track being well constructed and thought out in realisation and production, there is a sameness that is apparent when listening to it as a package, and at the latter part of release the tracks almost merge into one without a more focused concentration; songs like ‘This Could Be Home’, ‘Hope’, and ‘This Ends Tonight’ all have a familiarity that can result in their unique elements being missed, though each are good solid slices of music. To be fair though it shows there is great promise ahead for Adept and plenty more room for them to stretch their music and ideas.
“Death Dealers” is a great album but just misses out on taking that further step into memorable. It does though, deliver a dozen very satisfying and enjoyable explosive shells of sound, with suggestions that their direction into a harder metal sphere is a good decision which already is showing promise.