-- Deficiency --
|■||Melodic thrash metal|
|■||Laurent Gisonna||Vocals, lead guitars|
|■||Jérôme Meichelbeck||Rhythm guitars|
Review written by David Hardy.
A French band whose fourth album is already released, yes guys! 11 years after their debut release "State of Disillusion", but for their new album “Warenta” they hired Against PR to drop their fresh release straight into our mailbox, thank you very much.
Deficiency’s “Warenta” album has ten tracks, and not free samples! A good five minutes per track on average, we're not here to pretend or to aim for three minutes radio friendly rock tunes, we’re here to make metal and it doesn't matter if it annoys you that we have a complete set of tunes with a beginning, a middle and an end! Well, let's dive in, "Warenta", here I come!
"Warenta" is the album’s opening title track, the one that is supposed to set the basis of the album. After a dark and worrying beginning, a very trashy and powerful "second beginning" which (finally) sets up the basics. A track wherein singer Laurent Gisonna offers a lot of nice things on the vocal level in different styles. He has the chance to offer us a wide range of voices (including thrash yelling, dramatic shouting and melodic singing) which add great value to the album! The guitar composition is a little bit arpeggio but well done and totally accurate. I regret however some small lengths (not necessarily useful additions) but nothing very serious. Does this “Warenta” title track fulfill its opening role, yes! "Dichotomy" wastes zero time, it directly hits straight in the face like an exploding beer can smacked onto one someone’s forehead. Not much else to say, it’s an intense thrasher with good pacing and raw fury. An excellent track that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
I don't often talk about my way of doing reviews, but you should know that my first listening always is in mono and while doing something else. This allows me to know if certain tracks catch my attention even while I’m not fully actively listening to them. And in this case, I must admit that "I'm the Misfortune Herald" is one such track. It’s a very melodic and multi-layered tune and the drums in particular slam their way through whatever sound system you’re playing this through. Also the peaceful interlude at 2:55 just adds a nice bonus introducing the song’s guitar solo which in turn introduces the second part of the track which for me is even better than the first thanks to the increased intensity. I would really like to hear more of such melodic tracks from Deficiency.
As far as the next track (The Black Book) is concerned, it drew me back as well! Its classical guitar intro followed by some heavy and powerful guitar, why not! The beaten rhythms are interesting, the bass is cool because it’s clearly audible. I would’ve liked this part to be longer but it’s already really good! This track has a more joyful and melodic style and personally it’s really my cup of tea! And yet it does not spare its brutal efforts because at certain moments the grunts/growls are intensified by drums and guitars! But they know how to properly balance the song between the softer parts (bordering on acoustic music) and the powerful thrashy pieces, and binding the whole thing together with pure metal and touches of orchestral epic. I’d say yes sir!
The intro to "The Feathers" doesn't particularly please me, but the rest of this lengthy 7-minute track is on point with the fast thrash riffs turning to more "traditional" metal which for me is more interesting and better constructed. The mix goes from one style to the other and with some passages being darker than others. In my opinion this song would’ve been better without the dark/hyper fast parts because there’s already enough elements in this tune to make a very good song very "metal." The sixth track on this “Warenta” album is called "Lumpendoktor" and features Angelus Apatrida’s Davish G. Alvarez for the lead guitar part. Really nice and you can hear why he was invited to jam this tune since this track has a legit Angelus Apatrida feel to it with the frantic yet clear-cut melodies. There’s also a lengthy orchestral interlude in the middle of this track which is quite epic and nicely builds up to the song’s guitar solo finale.
The follow-up, "Ludma,” on the other hand, appealed to me... but in the wrong way. This jerky and uncreative playing, lack of finesse and quite repetitive riffs, it convinced me a lot less. I liked the parts with the French lyrics but other than that, nothing. Fortunately, the next song, "A Fire asleep" reawakens the taste buds and really gives the album a good boost into the right direction and that on all levels! A much better and more convincing track than its predecessor. A tune with genuine creativity and energy and one that shows me once again while I enjoy the thrashing melodies of Deficiency.
"Alleviate the Suffering" gently takes us on board with an acoustic guitar towards... what do you think... thrash as it should be, of course! I remain undecided on this track, there are some really good parts, the vocals are always of quality and perfectly go along with the underlying beats but the muffled jamming that starts at the 4:56 mark for example is adds nothing to this track and just feels like unjustified filler, especially after ending with such a beautiful solo.
Finally, to close off Deficiency’s “Warenta” release we have "Real is revealed", the shortest track of the album and clearly a bit messy and all over the place. It's fast-paced (especially on the drums) but for me it's a bit "too much" even the solo doesn't leave me a with a lasting impression. This song ventures into speed metal territory and, unfortunately, that isn’t Deficiency’s main strength (their strengths were already beautifully showcased in several earlier tracks on this album).
Deficiency’s “Warenta” is a difficult album to approach because it’s feels so much like a crossroads of many different things that it’s easy to get lost. I have the impression to hear thrash, metalcore, epic, melodic, symphonic and maybe more. In fact for me the problem is that there isn’t much consistency in its style and feel. It's often a mix between different metal subgenres that works well sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t. I think it's a bit confusing and liking the album as a whole can be quite hard because if the bonding doesn't work with you, you won't like it because the album’s many influences are sometimes very far apart from each other.
Anyway, as you may have understood from the earlier paragraphs, I liked "I'm the Misfortune Herald", "The Black Book" and "Lumpendoktor” the most. I don't necessarily dislike the other tracks, but I'm not thrilled by them either. If you can't decide between fast and violent metal with grunts on the one hand & melodic metal with clean singing on the other, then you may have found your album! The perfect example to test this is "The Feathers" if you like the whole song, take the album, if not, you'll have to make some concessions.
Simply put, Deficiency’s new album is an enjoyable but complex album to accurately describe. It’s influences are diverse to say the least (with elements from thrash, old-school metal, metalcore, symphonic & more) and you may revel in its complexity or put off by its inconsistency. You may decide it for yourself but I did enjoy it, all things considered.