For all intents and purposes, Dealer are a supergroup. Their line-up consists of former members of renowned and established acts such as Alpha Wolf, Northlane, and Capture The Crown.
To fall under the supergroup moniker is a precarious place to be, as high expectations can be levelled at the artists before they’ve ever even had a chance to share any material.
‘Soul Burn’, the debut EP from the Australian five-piece, not only shakes off any potential preconceived notions, but reaches out and grabs you with malevolent force, demanding your complete and undivided attention. From the neck-snapping groove of opening track, ‘Grotesque’, the scene is set.
The ensuing onslaught of down-tuned riffs, caustic dissonance, and earth-shattering breakdowns are led by vocalist Aidan Ellaz, who provides an impassioned, genuine aggression to his performance. From harsh screams to nu-metal like rapping to intriguing spoken word sections, Ellaz‘s charisma and eclectic range majorly elevates what are already expertly crafted tracks.
To be branded with the term nu-metalcore doesn’t seem to carry the same disdain as the original nu-metal label. New school heroes Vein and Knocked Loose are just some of the few garnering praise for their interpolations of some of the more niche aspects of the much maligned genre. Dealer appear to be intent on continuing this trend, with clear nods to the likes of Emmure and Volumes who have been pushing the formula forward for the past decade.
Contributing to an established scene is always a challenge when lacking the skill, ingenuity, or perhaps most vital, a unique voice. Luckily for Dealer, their shared experience and ability, as well as clear vision and evident passion, have led to ‘Soul Burn’ being easily one of the most ferocious releases of 2019.
For a debut to bear this level of power and proficiency, should quell any doubts pertaining to the supergroup moniker, and rightfully build anticipation for a full-length tenfold.