Mendeed - The Dead Live By Love - 2007 - Nuclear Blast
1. Burning Fear 2. The Fight 3. The Dead Live By Love 4. Fuel The Fire 5. Gravedigger 6. Our War 7. Blood Brothers 8. Through Dead Eyes 9. Reload 'N' Kill 10. Take Me As I Am 11. It's Not Over Yet 12. Thirteen
I remember hearing Scotland's Mendeed last year when they released their debut for Nuclear Blast called "This War Will Last Forever". At the time I was simply overwhelmed with the likes of Motorjesus, Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine, and The Quill to really spend a whole lot of time on it. I guess that is the by-product of having a saturation of metal talent and quality releases. Nonetheless I was surprised to see the band already releasing a new record, this being the third to date and second for Nuclear Blast.
"The Dead Live By Love" is absolutely killer from beginning to end. I don't think there is a band on the planet that can match this type of intensity and speed while still keeping it technical and flamboyant. Guitarists Steven Nixon and Steph Gildea are probably the top two players on the planet right now in terms of speed picking and complicated chord arrangements. I'm no guitarist and really have no clue how to play certain notes and chords, but judging from the sounds of Nixon and Gildea I would imagine that it would be really difficult to play at this pace, at least for the long periods of time that Mendeed spend on ferocious melody and energetic bursts of aggression.
In many ways Mendeed is like the extremist combination of Cellador and Dragonforce, with the band simply dazzling with their gallops and duel guitar leads. It is this neo-classical sound that prevails over huge stomp riffs and singer Dave Proctor's harsh wails and screams. At times I can hear Mendeed digging deep into the rich German vein, possibly influenced by the likes of high speed Helloween and Running Wild in a quest to be the fastest and most efficient hardcore band of the universe. It all works itself together in a triumphant display of power, heaviness, groove, and melody, running through twelve cuts of high-octane, top flight heavy metal; dressed up, polished up, and ready to kill.
On songs like "It's Not Over Yet" and "Burning Fear" the band simply stays at a high pace frenzy, charging through lead after lead and chasing it with a bullet behind drummer Kevin Matthews "drum machine" chaos. "The Fight" and the title track both keep brutal pace but at the same time they allow Proctor and backing vocalist/bassist Chris Lavery to supply some well sung chorus parts that almost remind me of Styx (of all things). "Gravedigger" and "Through Dead Eyes" combine Machine Head, Bullet For My Valentine, and Unearth in a mighty display of damaging stomp riffs. My favorite song is "Reload 'N Kill" with its manic combination of melody and all out war-march riffage.
The Bottom Line - Mendeed is probably the most talented band on the modern metal market. This release is absolutely huge and a must listen for anyone who has saluted the finger signs of metal.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details