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Dictated - "The Deceived" (CD)

Dictated - "The Deceived" CD cover image

"The Deceived" track listing:

1. Forced into Dismay
2. This Is to All
3. No Absolution
4. The Basher
5. No Mercy for Cowards
6. Dispossession
7. The Deceived
8. Stonebreakers Rising
9. They Live, They Suffer, They Die
10. Rail of Death

Reviewed by on September 16, 2014

"The guitars could benefit from more layering and solos, but these gals do know how to bust out catchy riffs."

Dictated is a Dutch death metal group containing members of God Dethroned, which is what initially drew me to the band’s second release “The Deceived.” In 2010 the outfit self-released debut full-length “Summary of Retribution. Now, thanks to Metal Blade Records, the group, whose core consists of female guitarists Jessica Otten and Sonja Schuringa, will get these songs in front of more ears.

Most of the articles I read concerning “The Deceived” either downplayed the two members of God Dethroned or completely ignored it, but this was a selling point for me. After more research I understand the lack of interest being drawn to Henry Sattler (bass) and Michiel van der Plicht (drums). First, they are both session members. Second, Sattler only plays bass on the album. Without giving a more thorough check on the members, I originally though Sattler was the vocalist. York Keijzer’s quasi-black metal vocal projections are of a similar middle pitch. However, Keijzer often digs deep into his guts to pull out a putrid roar.

Michiel van der Plicht’s drumming closest resembles anything from the God Dethroned camp. His tones ring loudly and organically, and even though his sticks are a constant blur, he leaves behind the terrible ting of triggers that give death metal drummers such an unauthentic drum sound. Plicht’s drums are also the bane of the album. While they have a great sound, there isn’t much in terms of variety. The album seems like one big blast beat with a few impressive rolls thrown in. Sattler’s bass is another problem with the album in that it is non-existent. The mix, which includes Plicht’s domineering drums, simply doesn’t allow for the bass to show up.

The guitars could benefit from more layering and solos, but these gals do know how to bust out catchy riffs. Otten and Schuringa combine their axes in tremolo picking to produce spinning, helicopter-head banging moments such as heard on “Rail of Death.” They instill variety and aggression on palm muted grooves “Stonebreakers Rising,” and “They Live They Suffer They Die.” Give heed to the breakdown around the 1:20 mark on “Rail of Death.”

“The Deceived” is by no means a wash of a album. There are plenty of riffs to grab onto and the vocals are up to par. However, the album fails to find an identity among a bloated genre. It’s a fun record at first, but it gets tiresome a couple tracks in. While the album certainly has elements of God Dethroned, it lacks the quality song writing. It may seem unfair to keep coming back to God Dethroned, but I would not have given this album much thought if it weren’t for the name recognition.

Highs: Breakdowns and grooves help distinguish one track from another.

Lows: The album lacks variety. The drums move at the same pace through most of the release.

Bottom line: Worthy of a few listens but will get shelved soon.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)