Swedish Thrashers DECEIVER have announced on their web site that this is to be their final release, and it is a mixed bag as to whether or not it is a good thing that this is the band's swansong.
“Thrashing Heavy Metal” is a throwback to early 1990's style extreme Metal, equal parts Thrash and early Death, with a touch of Heavy Metal thrown in for variety's sake. The vocals resemble early OBITUARY, but the music never fully crosses into pure Death Metal territory. The riffs tend to be of the galloping Thrash variety, and it is the riffing that gets much of the emphasis. In fact, they get too much emphasis, as several of the songs here have great solos that are virtually inaudible due to how far back in the mix they have been buried. The solos appear to serve no more purpose than to add some melody to the riff, which is unfortunate. Their use would have been much more effective had they been brought more into the spotlight.
The band employs a good variety of tempo on this album, and thereby avoid a trap that snares so many other extreme bands. Tracks like “Dead To The World” are fast, though not quite approaching Speed Metal, while others are more mid-tempo, and “The Dungeon” is downright slow.
Yet while the tempo varies, the sound unfortunately does not. All songs seem to have been written in the same key, which creates a touch of monotony. DECEIVER use a good variety of techniques in their playing – power chord riffing, strumming, runs, etc., but seem not all that sure of how to best use all of these in the composition. The band has the tools, but seem to need a little bit of practice regarding how to use them.
And this is why the fact that it is bittersweet to learn that this will be the band's final release, as some of the standout tracks here show some promise in the areas that are lacking. On “Dead To The World,” all of the elements come together to create an aggressive tune, and is perhaps the best crafted song on the album. “The Dungeon” is Doomy, and with the aforementioned OBITUARY-esqe vocals, sounds anguished in its delivery. “Legacy” is perhaps the most reminiscent of 1980's Thrash, and contain some bass parts that call to mind Steve Harris. It was a mistake to place these tracks at the end of the album – they would have been much more effective if placed higher in the order.
This album occupies that middle ground between Thrash and Death, and has some interesting highlights. While it is almost unfair to suggest that a band with four albums to its credit needs some more maturing, it is likewise unfair to fans of this style of music for the group to disband when some their skill at composition is showing signs of developing.
(Online March 28, 2009)