Deadline “Cathedral Point” Album Review

Deadline make a statement with the release of their latest album titled Cathedral Point.


Hailing from Pretoria, the six piece heavy metal band was formed in 2014 and consists of:
● Jessy Switchblade (Vocals)
● Raven Chaos (Guitars)
● Skullprit (Guitars)
● Judge Mental (Guitars)
● Baz Steel (Bass)
● Dizzy Styxx (Drums)


The band is heavily influenced by thrash metal, hard rock, and heavy metal. Their musical influences include Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Testament, Kreator and many others.


Since their inception the band has gone on to establish themselves as one of the fore-runners of South Africa’s new wave of heavy metal and in 2019 they were slotted to perform alongside Judas Priest on their maiden African performance. Unfortunately the show in question was cancelled but nevertheless, being selected to open for the mighty Judas Priest is in many ways a noteworthy achievement in itself and just highlights the band’s prowess both on and off the stage.


Cathedral Point is Deadline’s second album to date and follows up from their 2017 release Black Wolf City. In the three years since they released the latter, it is evident that the band has taken the time to refine their sound and their approach as Cathedral Point is a much stronger
album with a much clearer band identity.


The album starts off with Cathedral Point, a hauntingly captivating instrumental that sets the tone for the rest of the album. The use of church bells and organs creates a menacing tone that
let’s the listener know what awaits them. Despite being a short instrumental, it’s a rather powerful track and the perfect way to kick off this stellar record.
The band’s willingness to experiment with different sounds outside of the conventions of metal is rather refreshing as further evidenced on High-Tops and Bullet-Belts where the track starts off with an 80s style synth intro, a lovely touch.


Only The Strong Survive is an extremely mosh worthy song and the guitar solo is superb. The breakdown is powerful and throughout listening to the song all I could picture was myself riding into battle on horseback.


Perhaps the most noteworthy song on the record, in my personal opinion, would be Shapeshifter. The songs kicks of with a chilling introduction that builds up the tension of the song. Shapeshifter is arguably the strongest song on the album and the most ‘accessible’ to fans of other genres. The subtle yet powerful use of the flanger on the guitars brings the song to
life as it literally makes it feel like it is shifting and simply goes to show the amount of work that was put into this album. I personally found that level of attention in songwriting and music production to be particularly pleasant as you can tell the band took its time with this entire
album.


The Watcher finishes off the album and it is a high octane track that keeps the energy. The album ends on a high note and leaves you fiending for more and it is the perfect choice to end the album with. The riffs and the guitar work are brilliant and distinct thanks to the hands of Raven, Skullprit and Judge, but Jessy’s vocal work on this song is stand-out and he absolutely
steals the show.

The sequencing of the tracks is a job well done as the record does not lose its energy at any stage and manages to keep the listener captivated throughout. You can also tell the sequence was well thought out and intentional rather than a haphazard coming together of songs.
All the musicians in Deadline do their part to deliver a brilliant record but Dizzy Styxx’s work on the drums stands out has delivers heavy drum hits at a blistering speed while flexing his dexterity behind the kit. Vocalist Jessy Switchblade’s vocals are also much stronger on this record and there is clear growth on the musician’s part.


From a music production perspective, the record is sonically spectacular. The mixing is superb and the final outcome is a marked improvement from their first album. Heinrich Köllner of Burning Tone Studios does a remarkable job with mixing and mastering the album: the drums
are thundering, the bass can be felt and heard, the guitars manage to cut through the sound and stand out and the vocal mix is nothing short of perfection. The album has a modern sound with an old-school feel, the band manages to deliver high quality content without any of the music losing its rawness or aggression.


Cathedral Point is an immense album due to the amount of effort put into creating it. The record takes you away and invokes an epic feeling of fantasy and escape, something that we could do with more of during these trying times. Furthermore, the album is a perfect blend of heavy metal thrash metal, hard rock and power metal.

My biggest criticism of the album is that it should have been longer, I have listened to the record no less than five times in the 24 hours since it came out and I keep going back to it.


Album credits:
● All music and lyrics by Deadline
● Tracked by Mike Wright (Gloryvale Studios)
● Mixed and mastered by Heinrich Köllner (Burning Tone Studios)
● Album photography by Basil Koufos
● Album artwork by Donovan Sloan

Purchase and stream Cathedral Point:
● Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/cp-spotify
● Google Play: https://tinyurl.com/cp-google-play
● Apple Music: https://tinyurl.com/cp-apple
● Deezer: https://tinyurl.com/cp-deezer
● Bandcamp: https://tinyurl.com/cp-bandcamp
● Website: https://www.deadlinehmc.com

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