Review: “Soul Burn” EP by Dealer

Melbourne Australia based super group Dealer is the new project of vocalist Aidan Ellaz (ex-Alpha Wolf), bassist Alex Milovic (ex-Northlane), guitarist pairing David Wilder (Iconoclast) and Josh Ang (Codeine King) with drummer Joe Abikhair (Capture the Crown). They’ve been labelled as both “Aggressive Metalcore” and Nu-Metal while getting a push from Stay Sick Recordings would be an interesting place to play.

Wasting no time at all, opener “Grotesque” spin kicks in full throttle with bouncy Nu-Metalcore riffage alongside Ellaz’s infamous rap screams against the music industry that he is ready to watch burn. It’s a punchy, pacey tone setter with nods to any number of Gloom styled bands. The vocals are savage and there are enough breakdowns to call for a tow truck! “Crooked” has that classic Nu-Metal click-y loose bass string tone to it with more of a hardcore attitude alongside some staccato riffage and powerhouse kit work. There is literally no forgiveness from the guitar work as it jolts and judders at the back end of the track – if you haven’t snapped your neck by this point, you’re listening to the wrong band! Featuring a guest vocal appearance from Travis Tabron of Varials “Melancholy Oxidase” has an interesting contrast between the vocalists with Ellaz’s higher pitched tones going up against Tabron’s Deathcore-esq growls. An anti-love song, it bounces between dark moods with that lyrical introspection of Nu-Metal while having some seriously hard hitting guitar and vocal delivery. There is a glorious drop out to an aching almost spoken word before it punches back hard for the final part.

Raises the roof with “Pretty Stupid” with some blast beats before slowing down to a downtempo pace to allow a verse to breathe. There is an angst filled, nihilistic fury about the lyrics and it’s pretty clear that Ellaz has plenty to say and anger to vent. Seamlessly leaping back up to the faster material, it’s has a skull crushing groove about it that is seriously infectious. Probably the biggest surprise of the EP is “You In Frame”. A melodic, clean sung track that has some glorious vocal layering with an almost spoken word looped underneath the main vocal part that is seriously effective. There is an expectation of a drop to a heavier gauge and bursting into some powerhouse riffage but lurks in the atmospheric subliminally but doesn’t materialise. The vocals do get heavier in places but that is kept within the mix with classy style. Closing out with a return to the heavier material is no surprise. “Ultima Death” chugs its way though some chunky riffs and squeals while having some programmed electronic drum breakdowns that add a something new to the mix. The surprise is the almost hidden poetry styled verse that appears at the end. As debut releases go, the accomplishments of the players involved mean they have the know how and kills to get it done! [9/10]

Track listing;

1. Grotesque
2. Crooked
3. Melancholy Oxidase Ft. Travis Tabron of Varials
4. Pretty Stupid
5. You In Frame
6. Ultima Death

“Soul Burn” EP by Dealer is out on 5th April via Stay Stick Recordings and available for pre-order here

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