Today’s metal, as a genre, is saturated with an abundance of mediocrity and emulation. It’s nauseating. With that said, I’ve become quite jaded; so much so, that in order to impress me, a band has to be so progressively adept that they make me jealous of not having been the one to write their music, or they need to be so heavy that I can forgo the need for a cup of coffee, should I listen to that band first thing in the morning. Holland’s own DICTATED qualifies for the second category. Their latest ripper, titled The Deceived, is available now via Metal Blade Records.
I will admit that when I first approached this record, I was skeptical, considering the blathering dreck I’ve had to sit through that will be covered in my next several reviews. But DICTATED proved to be the break I needed from the Goth-rock, metalcore and power metal rubbish that awaits my reluctant ears during the remainder of August. The Deceived opens with “Forced Into Dismay”, a slow guitar chug that serves as a base for what is either a very obscure movie clip, or the frontman yelling about murder. With homicidal intentions stated, the group unveils the first full track of the record, “This Is to All”, setting the pace for the rest of the album. After “No Absolution” and “The Basher” you encounter “No Mercy for Cowards” and it sinks in that this is a group that will never give a moment’s peace and never stoop to writing a ballad. And with offerings like “Dispossession” “They Live, They Suffer, They Die” and “Rail of Death”, why would they need to?
Sure, DICTATED aren’t shifting the artistic paradigm on The Deceived, but they certainly aren’t playing breakdowns or singing winey melodies over synthesizer-laden guitar playback loops. And in a scene that is so plagued with the likes of all the “core” bands, anything that doesn’t have even one of those elements is impressive. Moreover, this is a straight death record, immersing its listener into a landscape awash with tremolo riffs, guttural growling and blast beasts galore.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “This Is To All”, “No Absolution”, “No Mercy for Cowards”, “Dispossession”, “They Live, They Suffer, They Die”
WRITTEN BY FRENCH CHEESE