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Even faster than This War Will Last Forever, The Dead Live By Love takes an even more melodic death-metal approach, with more of a technical edge then before than before and more metalcore screaming, and singing. Not many Metal bands I have heard can play this fast, the musicianship on this album is astounding. Mendeed is more talented than most recently formed Metal bands, and deserve the credit. Unfortunately shortly after this album was released Mendeed broke up and now some members are in Anterior (Another very talented and great Metal band) and other bands.
Mendeed’s technical skills have increased quite a bit since their debut which was only one year before this album. The Dead Live By Love isn’t much different than Mendeed’s debut, though the performances are better, riff work has improved, songwriting has improved, and Dave Proctor’s vocals have increased a lot (It’s mainly an improved more enjoyable version of their debut). There are a few difference though the songs themselves have been shortened a little, the choruses are much better especially on the title track, the album seems to use a somewhat power metal style of guitar picking that wasn’t used before, and the songs themselves are more lead guitar driven.
Dave Proctor’s performance is very good and is definitely a highlight of the album, but don’t get me wrong he still uses his melodic-death metal vocals frequently. Steph Gildea and Steven Nixon are even better and certainly some of the greatest guitarists I have heard in a while. Chris Lavery’s performance is just as solid as on their debut, and still shines much more on the mid-tempo parts. Finally Kevin Mathews drumming is excellent a lot better than before he pulls off some extremely fast double bass parts, and even better fills (Check out the double bass intro to Blood Brothers and you will know what I mean).
The Dead Live By Love is an excellent album too bad it was there last album together they had a very bright future ahead of them. The only problem with this album is that it also could have been shortened and had ten songs instead of twelve also the solos while very good aren’t really any different then on their debut besides being more technical. Best songs are Burning Fear, The Dead Live By Love, It’s Not Over Yet, and Thirteen other great songs are Fuel The Fire and Reload ‘N’ Kill. I highly recommend this album to anyone who likes fast and melodic metal with an extreme metal edge.
-2 points solos don’t really add anything to the album
-3 ponits the album is too long could be shortened
In 2006, Scottish metal band Mendeed came roaring out of the gates with their debut album This War Will Last Forever. Fusing melodic death metal with metalcore influences, many seemed to agree that while their debut album was fairly good and that the band had a lot of potential. Aside from a select few songs which I have heard off Mendeed's official website, I have not heard this album, so I cannot back up such claims using their first album. But after hearing Mendeed's sophomore effort, The Dead Live By Love, I would have to agree with the above assessment. Stupid album titles aside, to say that Mendeed has a bright future ahead of them would definitely be a fair statement to make.
With The Dead Live By Love, Mendeed continues to utilize the formula from This War Will Last Forever. Incorporating both melody and heaviness into their work, the band makes for an interesting listen. The melodies, crafted by high speed guitar lines and the clean vocal lines of Chris Lavery are perhaps the biggest part of the band's sound, and are definitely the focus here. Guitarists Steven Nixon and Steph Gildea show off their skill throughout the album in the form of seemingly complex harmonies, solos, and lightning fast riffing. Steven Nixon, the band's lead guitarist, is particularly effective, creating frantic atmospheres through his work and energizing the efforts of the rest of the band. Quite impressive, really. Most of The Dead Live By Love's twelve tracks contain powerful performances from Steven and Steph, and while it's difficult to pinpoint which song they are most impressive in, songs such as Burning Fear, with it's technical, high tempo introduction that shows flashes of DragonForce, Blood Brother's clean guitar section, and The Fight's rapid-fire riffing could all be considered highlights of the album.
After the guitars, the vocals are fairly impressive as well. A joint performance between David Proctor and bassist Chris Lavery, they do not really make or break the track that features them, but they do remain an enjoyable aspect. Throughout the album, David, who sounds like a poor man's Alexi Laiho (Laiho's newer efforts, that is) supplies Mendeed with the harsh vocals. Similarly to Alexi, Proctor has a rather mixed performance. Not especially good, but not especially bad either, but he manages to get the job done. Lavery's efforts on the other hand, will be a bit more of a love-hate thing. Some will complain that they are too whiny and meek, while others will enjoy the melodic edge they give the music. Personally, I would include my self in the latter group. While at times they do sound slightly whiny, they do manage to be catchy and emotional enough to balance out the negatives. Compared to what I heard from the couple tracks off the band's website, the clean vocals have definitely been improved upon, as can he heard in the likes of The Fight.
Unfortunately, the remaining two musicians do not have the same chops as the guitar tandem of the vocalists. The bass lines of Chris Lavery are completely inaudible and unless you have really good hearing they probably won't affect the music at all. Drummer Kevin Matthews is decent enough, but his drumming feels very standard and formulaic for the genre. He definitely isn't a sloppy drummer, and he manages to provide Mendeed with a solid rhythm to work around, and while his efforts are somewhat impressive in terms of skill and complexity, I come away wanting more. And finally, the album's production leaves a lot to be desired. At times it causes the music to sound far more passive than it actually is, especially when Nixon and Gildea are not focuses on playing the heavier sections of their music. The drumming is also far too low in the mix, and at times (though not very often, don't get me wrong) does not feel as if it is really do anything for the music. However, most of these problems are fairly minor in the long run can definitely be improved on for the future.
With their second album, The Dead Live By Love, Mendeed manage to not only avoid any sort of sophomore jinx, but also show why critics have been raving about their potential. Lead by guitarists, Steven Nixon and Steph Gildea, Mendeed put for a great mix of melodic death metal and metalcore, combining skill, energy, and strong song writing. They have a few kinks to work out, definitely, but the future is definitely bright for the Scottish metal band. Fans of modern metal and acts such as In Flames, Iron Maiden or even DragonForce should check out Mendeed's The Dead Live By Love, as it is a very solid slab of metal from the promising young band.
(Originally written for Sputnikmusic)
When I pushed the play button and ”LET’S GO” was shouted through my speakers I could swear I was hearing Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom. An inferno of guitars immediately kicked in and I were wondering if I had got a Children of Bodom CD instead by mistake…However, let us not dwell on the Children of Bodom comparison too much, which is not my intention with this review. Mendeed manage to stand on own feet perfectly.
Band founder and vocalist Dave Proctor has got an amazingly versatile voice. He can scream like the devil, sing like a prince charming and growl as Mikeal Åkerfeldt himself (Opeth). His shouting screams are dominating the songs, however, and if you can’t stand hardcore vocals, Mendeed isn’t your cup of tea.
Scotland based Mendeed is out with their second CD, “The Dead Live by Love”, on Nuclear Blast records. You are out for a real treat if you buy this album: Fast raging songs, solos as fast as lightning, melodies which will make you hum for days, easy to sing along chorus, fast double bass drumming. Pure kick ass heavy metal, it’s simple as that! Why try to complicate everything with complex reviews? The rule is simple; if you like fast melodic extreme metal spiced up with aggressive vocals you’ll end up enjoying “The Dead Live by Love” immensely.
Twelve songs in same fast manner may eventually become tiresome. I must admit hardcore vocals is my least preferred singing style. I enjoy “The Dead Live by Love” greatly in small doses, and I’m really glad Dave often switches to clean singing style in every song. “Blood Brothers” features vicious death metal growls and it is easily the coolest song on this album. From 2:20 it suddenly changes character from very fast to thoughtful slow melodic middle section. The bass guitar reminds me of timeless classical music, like Mozart or Beethoven. After one minute or so this kickass neoclassical section ends and the evil death vocals kick in for another minute before the song continues its fast pace again. Awesome!
“Blood Brothers” display outstanding song writing capabilities and lead guitarist Steven Nixon deserves praise for his ability to play lead guitar as well. Basically every song features fast, impressive guitar soloing in the vein of Children of Bodom, Kalmah, and Sinergy etc. I can’t fault this CD really, except non-stop hardcore singing become tiresome in the long run for me. That is, however, just my preference. For me this album would be 10/10 if only a mixture of clean and death vocals were present in the mix. Production is crystal clear; every instrument is dominating the picture and is a pure thrill to listen to.
Go for it!
Originally written by me for Northern Metal Webzine, www.northernmetal.info