A bunch of metalheads playing music they love

Conquered Lands is the third album from Death Dealer, a band who constituents are drawn from across the metal universe, including Manowar, Into Eternity, Cage, Dungeon and now, adding gravitas to the bottom end, Mike LePond from Symphony X. 

Reaction to Death Dealer’s albums will always hinge on the tolerance of the listener to Sean Peck’s histrionic vocals – his stratospheric high notes can be grating to the extent that the band’s debut War Master was unlistenable to some – but on this album he strikes a great balance with his range. Occasionally, he sounds like he’s pushing himself a little too far but metal of this kind always contains some degree of vocal straining, and when he’s on point – check out that scream at the end of Running With the Wolves – he shows why he’s truly revered by some in power metal circles.

From a musical standpoint, Conquered Lands draws chiefly from the pure power metal bombast of Cage and the rousing anthemic style of Manowar. Guitarists Ross the Boss and Stu Marshall fire off one another in glorious fashion across eleven tracks of blow-your-face-out heavy metal meltdown, underpinned by the rumbling bass of LePond who benefits from a flattering mix. The production gives the whole album the heavy crunch that is so often missing from power metal, and the band tempers the furious pace with slower burns like the title track – an album highlight – and the aforementioned Manowar style chugger Running With the Wolves.

Anyone looking at find anything remotely ground-breaking or innovative here will be finished before they can start. Conquered Lands isn’t about reinventing the wheel and everything to do with a bunch of metalheads playing music they love, and that’s as it should be.

  1. Sorcerer Supreme
  2. Every Nation
  3. Beauty and the Blood
  4. Running With the Wolves
  5. The Heretic Has Returned
  6. Conquered Lands
  7. Hail to the King
  8. Slay or be Slain
  9. Faith Under Fire
  10. 22 Gone
  11. Born to Wear the Crown