Album Review: Deceptor - "Chains of Delusion"

Thrash metal from England. Think back for a second. Have you ever, in your life of musical fandom, heard or used that phrase? Probably not, and Deceptor is willing to admit the same. For all the legendary history of English metal, from Sabbath to Maiden to Priest and Venom, all have danced around thrash, many have had a hand in shaping it, but none have waltzed with it. So, Deceptor takes the banner for English thrash and leaps headlong into the fray with their new effort “Chains of Delusion.”

Now, what we have here is thrash, of that there can be no doubt. At the risk of stereotyping though, Deceptor is likely exactly what you would imagine English thrash to be. It is calculated, clean, sharp at the corners, measured and cut and pressed. Furthermore, despite Deceptor’s best efforts to start a whole new English metal movement, they are inescapably influenced by the bands who came before. The vocals are shaded in alternating turns by Rob Halford and Cronos, the riffs are populated by an antiseptic gallop colored by Adrian Smith and KK Downing. Hell, even the album cover looks like Deceptor chained up the “Defenders of the Faith” cover art.

Notice though how I haven’t said anything about those elements being detrimental. They’re not. Rather, these influences add depth and character to the technically sound thrash that Deceptor offers, lending an insight to their talent for arrangement and clean tones.

Speaking of, the music here is pretty textbook, with high end gallop running incessantly through just about every cut. Just because it is textbook does not mean it is boring, however. Deceptor’s flair, so effected by the hallowed memory of their countrymen, gives their effort a charming uniqueness; a combination of elements that seem related in action, but have rarely been theorized to be such.

Whether the rumble and seamless transitions of “Heatseeker” or the imagination and vague progressive touches of “Sentient Shackles,” Deceptor shows a few different looks that showcase sides of their ability. This all culminates in “Oblivion’s Call,” a multi-faceted piece of thrash storytelling that rounds out the experience nicely.

Now, if only “Chains of Delusion” were a full record. At six cuts, two of which are throwaways, it’s difficult to tell if “Deceptor” is capable of this kind of enjoyable production at any time, or if this is a flash-in-the-pan exhibition of their best day. I have faith that this band can use their combination of new thinking and classic thrash to gives audiences a great product. In the meantime, enjoy “Chains of Delusion.”

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