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Vicous Vendetta, straight on the heels of Fatal Deterrent, a third of the length, all new songs, is it any good?
Well, yeah actually. This was a difficult review for me, because this three track EP is a bit of a departure from Deadfall's old material. Abandoning their Metallica and Megadeth sound, these three songs are firmly in the Slayer terrirtory. If you thought Deadfall's previous two efforts were a bit on the sluggish side, you'll be gladly suprised. The title track and drummer Pete penned thrasher Point of Death are both straight forward, ass kick 4 minute thrash songs. Unlike the almost proggy songs of old, whilst the riffs are complex, the songs aren't, and they hurry forward without any rest or consideration. The last song, Lethal Dosage, has a slightly more paced intro, before cracking into the best, and fastest, track on the album.
Seriously, these are manic songs, and compared to Deadfall's fellow English up and coming thrashers such as Evile and Pitiful Reign, they've gone from having the slowest songs to the quickest. The bpms are all over 200, Mike screams more than he sings, and the whole sound is rather crazy. That's where the difficulty for me lies; I'm a fan of the slower stuff, this kind of Thrash isn't my genre of choice, so it took me a while to grow to like these three numbers. Knowing what I know about all metal though, I can safely say that these three tracks are better than almost everything Deadfall have put out, they sound more experienced, more personalised, less Metallica rip-offs in other words.
There are some issues with the demo, the production is done very authentically, i.e. it sounds 20 years old. Whilst this makes it sound like a real 80s bay area performance, it does mean it sounds weak compared to current offerings in the genre. They have finally got the levels right, but the tone of the instruments, especially the guitar, I personally struggled to appreciate (though I have grown used to it now). Naturally the performances are top notch, although due to the production and line up changes, it's essentially a three piece album again. I critisiced the soloing on Fatal Deterrent for being too manic for the songs, but this style works on Vicous Vendetta, and really if you like the production decisions the band has made you won't find much wrong on the album perfomance/production wise.
One gets the impression that this is the direction Deadfall want to go in, but it remains to be seen whether they can keep the interest up when there is less scope for variety in these shorter, more direct songs. Overall, a departure, but a good one.