Half a year ago, Double Dealer released their debut album. It got a mixed kind of review here - the singer was godawful, but the guitars saved the day somewhat. At the end of the review I voiced my intention to check out Concerto Moon, band that guitarist Norifumi Shima was originally from. That, too, turned out to be a pretty bad experience. Concerto Moon had an even more godawful vocalist.

Now, six months after the first Double Dealer album, the follow-up is released: "Deride at the Top" ("Mock at the Top", now that's a title they must have given the right amount of thought).

I can't handle these vocals any more. On the first album they bugged me, but somehow I could peel off the layers of oral atrocity and see the amazing guitarist that toiled underneath. Not with this second album, no sirree. The vocals are louder, more obnoxious, higher, and generally very, very, very bad. Add the heavy Japanese accent to that, and what you have is a vocal performance that, if anything, makes you squirm and swallow back whatever your stomach hasn't yet successfully chucked down.

I like to think I am pretty open-minded. I can basically stand the most raspingly screaching black metal vocalists, old Rush, Mariah Carey, Sacred Steel, loads of stuff. But I honestly, genuinely and totally fail to understand how these vocals can have any effect on people other than what they had on me.


(Oh...the two bullets are for the good guitar work, otherwise this would have undoubtedly been a one-bullet review)



Written June 2001


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