Mesma - Deadlights
Review by Steve Jenkins
One of the most exciting bands in the Australian heavy music scene right now are Deadlights from Brisbane. After just recently signing to the new but ever-growing label Greyscale Records, it wasn't long before the hardcore influenced 4-piece announced their debut album Mesma.
It can be quite hard to find certain metal genres as divisive as the over-saturated 'core' categories.
This makes it hard for many bands to break through the mediocre giants of the classification and dig underneath the dirt to reach success. Since there are so many outlets for music offered by the internet, the metalcore underground has exploded, revealing some energetic tunes that are emerging for young bands.
Take a young band Deadlights for example. If you're in the mindset of viewing the current metalcore and hardcore scene as just Parkway Drive, Northlane and The Amity Affliction, there’s no chance you’ll hear the promising Australian outfit’s newest release, Mesma. So many acts nowadays revert to the typical breakdown and chorus formula, lacking any sort of originality or liveliness to compensate. Deadlights attack the listener immediately, showcasing the sort of vigor that the genre normally lacks, breaking from any persisting stereotypes. With 12 extremely strong tracks, and no bullshit, Mesma is a powerful debut album that displays the growing talent of the band.
Deadlights don’t make the mistake of faltering after a strong opener, and second song 'The Mad Scientist' carries the energy from 'Order Without Order' over. With a powerful guitar erupting right at the start, the band showcase their ability to form harmonies and strong vocal performances. Guitarist and vocalist Tynan Reibelt has a perfect synergy, demonstrating his aptitude when it comes to making each riff captivating just like the melodic vocals. One of my personal favourite tracks 'Wavelenghts' shows a more aggressive side to the band with frontman Dylan Davidson unleashing a performance driven by rage that will be sure to get the mosh-pits moving at their live shows. Careful not to fall into the trap of monotonous breakdowns, Deadlights stick to their talents and continue to show a good quality of technical instrumental work. 'Everything All At Once' as a standout has a reduced speed and brilliant song structure that the band has perfect control over, and it serves to differentiate the album.
The band continues to impress with the second half of the release. Although a little uninspiring at the beginning, 'Invisible Hands' ends up showing the group’s more versatile side with tight vocal synchronizations soaring with the guitars, adding strength to the overall sound. 'Suadade' is the obligatory metalcore ballad, but it is aided by the presence of the bass (audible, believe it or not) and the band’s appealing riffs. Like all previous songs, Deadlights try to steer away from the clichés, opting to not resort to typical post-hardcore grooves and breakdowns. Everything is wrapped up by 'The Shapeshifter', a metalcore rocker that definitely has the hardcore influence on display, it's an outstanding way to close the album.
Make no mistake, Deadlights have a lot to show with this record. It is held back from being a truly great record by its conformity to genre standards, but it still manages to burst through with its commanding, energetic performances. The guitars and drumming are quite progressive and technical, giving a little uniqueness that helps things along. Deadlights are trying to pave a different path from the rest, with their increasing popularity, it would be safe to assume the Aussies may be heading for big exposure as they continue to make music and tour. Mesma is a forceful step forward in front of the competition.
7 out of 10 stars.
Mesma is available to purchase now at JB HiFi, iTunes and all good music retailers. You can also stream the album on Spotify.
You can watch the video for 'The Mad Scientist' below: