Saturday, August 16, 2014

Review: Dictated - The Deceived

Although they've been around since 2006, Netherlands based death metal ensemble Dictated have just now released their second full-length album, The Deceived, after previously issuing an independent debut full-length in 2010 and one demo in 2008. Impressively enough, their short audible reign has found them a home at the well revered Metal Blade Records label. Even more outstanding is the appearance of two female guitarists, a rarity in such a heavily male influenced genre as death metal.

Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: August 19th, 2014
  1. Forced into Dismay
  2. This is to All
  3. No Absolution
  4. The Basher
  5. No Mercy for Cowards
  6. Dispossession
  7. The Deceived
  8. Stonebreakers Rising
  9. They Live, They Suffer, They Die
  10. Rail of Death
Total Playtime: 35 minutes, 14 seconds




Rating: 6.0/10




Although they've been around since 2006, Netherlands based death metal ensemble Dictated have just now released their second full-length album, The Deceived, after previously issuing an independent debut full-length in 2010 and one demo in 2008. Impressively enough, their short audible reign has found them a home at the well revered Metal Blade Records label. Even more outstanding is the appearance of two female guitarists, a rarity in such a heavily male influenced genre as death metal.

The Deceiver unleashes havoc onto the listener with a hefty serving of heavy riff hooks in "This is to All" and "No Absolution", leading to a promising beginning. The material swiftly glides between accelerated paces and chugging breakdowns that boarder the depths of doom and old school death metal; the speed in which these changes take place create surprising twists and turns as the content winds on through the tracks. Though not all things can last forever, the album begins to become exceedingly predictable around "The Deceived" due to repetitious behavior, and soon thereafter boredom sets in like a plague.

The content features little to no layering, doing no favors for the listener or Dictated themselves. All instrument tracks are only slightly modified in volume, so that the drums are barely under the guitars and the vocals are slightly above the rest. This type of production only ever hinders material, and causes a bleeding effect that makes it nearly impossible to audibly separate certain elements. For instance, the quick palm muted guitar riffs that are synced in time with double bass drums curdle together into an inseparable heap, and in turn the flavorful ingredients of both are lost.


Despite their over simplification, the most delectable feature here are the guitars; which offer a short range of catchy power chords and obscure tremolo patterns. Tracks like "No Mercy for Cowards", "This is to All", "The Basher", "No Absolution" and "Stonebreakers Rise" each have their own riff niche that cause them to stand out well among the other songs presented within the album. Due to the problems listed previously, it's nearly impossible to pick out the bass guitar in the chaotic jumble, let alone decipher what it may be accomplishing behind the scenes.

Alternatively, the most lackluster of all instruments are undoubtedly the drums. Behind the skins, the drummer portrays an attitude that demonic speed can atone for both redundancy and lack of skill. Overall, there are not a large assortment of drum beats offered; in order, the range during any given track is generally blast beats, mediocre drum roll, tribal patterns and more blast beats. All the while being accompanied by double bass footwork and/or brief hi-hat and cymbal hits.

The elements that make The Deceiver an enjoyable album at the beginning are also what make it an atrocity by the end. The schizophrenic tempos that constantly fluctuate from furious to melancholic, the entertaining guitar riffs that are present within the songs listed above and the powerfully deep, hellish vocals are all pleasurable. It's a shame that every element becomes over used and recycled about halfway through the content, as if the band ran out of ideas and used the rest as filler. The layering definitely doesn't help the material, Dictated may want to ensure that this issue is addressed in any future releases. It's worth at least a listen, maybe two if you can stomach the withered production.

Digital Download Provided by: Metal Blade Records

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