Review: “Saint” EP by Dealer

Since March 2019 and the arrival of their debut 6 track EP “Soul Burn“, Melbourne Australia based super group Dealer have been turning a lot of heads with their abrasive take on Gloom Metal with a pinch of Deathcore and some Nu-Metal bounce in the mix. The project has a line up that consists 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) and has in the past 11 months or so taken to various stages with the likes of Thy Art Is Murder. They’re also heading over to the US later this month to join up with Spite, Varials and I AM. So a sophomore 4 track, 13 minute drop as a surprise release via Stay Sick Recordings that simply appeared without fanfare on Valentines Day is an absolute must to check out, especially as we gave their debut a 9/10 score in review.

A music video for opening track “Tourniquet” was the first indication of new material to us and with the band having a Japanese headlining tour in April, they’ll now have 10 tracks on the table and 31 minutes of material to flesh out their set. Programmed Industrial beats bring in Dealer’s guitar sound and some vicious Nu-Metal introspective vocals that are violently aggressive and cathartic as two sides of the same coin that never stops spinning. Crossing over the programmed drums and the real kit give the whole track a distorted vibe and the sound is one that calls you to grab your friend and throw them around in the pit. Sonically it’s a continuation of the “Soul Burn” sound that has that Varials bite. Starting out slower before picking up the pace and energy “Blade in a Bullet Wound” tempo shifts smoothly while having a creepy spoken word part and some pre-Deathcore bounce riffs that are adrenaline fueled and accompany the brutal rap screams perfectly. The lyrics name check the EP title with “I see the devil in the details, Of another pseudo-saint, Here to rip out the pain” and you can place your own meaning on the rest because there is no additional context to the beef other than to say Ellaz is clearly seriously vexed about something or someone’s behavior. Continuing the well constructed stylings into “Violent Stimuli“, which has an eerie lead part and also name checks “Soul Burn” in the lyrics about being dragged into wars by other people’s thoughtless actions. It’s a Nu-Metalcore gem blistering raw energy and sees a stand out performance from Abikhair on the kit. The layering in the sound is phenomenally well worked and the bounce and aggression is instant circle pit creation, so expect tornadoes of souls at the shows. Not letting up the relentlessness of the EP “Suffer In Rhythm” has hooks that dig deep and a “Bliegh!” moment early on is killer. Slowing things down mid track for a piece of staccato groove that then bleeds into an unexpected clean sung line passage with a hint at shoegaze is an interesting twist while the downtempo burst back from it is the knuckle duster punch in the face that captures all of your attention. Dealer have done it again and surprised us all with a short fused burst of dark sonic perfection [8.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Tourniquet
  2. Blade in a Bullet Wound
  3. Violent Stimuli
  4. Suffer In Rhythm

Saint” by Dealer is out now via Stay Sick Recordings

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