Deathstars - _Termination Bliss_
(Nuclear Blast, 2006)
by: Jackie Smit (
If there's one thing that these former members of Swordmaster and Dissection can take solace in, it's that their many vocal detractors will more than likely pay no attention to their sophomore effort, ultimately resulting in them ironically probably having less of a struggle convincing people that they're more than a cash-in on the infinitely more marketable gothic chic trend. Speaking as a fan of their first record however, _Termination Bliss_ falls short in the sense that it's often difficult to spot the differences between it and its predecessor; the album often sounding as though it could easily have been spawned during the same recording session. That is, with the exception of "Virtue to Vice" -- one of the album's more sinister moments, and the veritable highlight of vocalist Whiplasher's sojourn with the band thus far. It's not the album's only saving grace either, as elsewhere the band score big points with the irresistibly catchy "Greatest Fight on Earth" and the Rammstein-esque "Blitzkrieg". Yet for all its merits, the Deathstars formula is proven fallible on too many occasions to warrant labelling this indispensable listening. "Play God", for example, sounds like the band's take on an Eighties action movie theme song rather than the darkly erotic listening experience that, by their own admission, they're gunning for. In other words, Fernando Ribeiro and Pete Steele can sleep safely for another couple of years.
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