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DEATHROW

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Germany


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Deathrow biography
DEATHROW began its existence under the moniker SAMHAIN in 1984 in Düsseldorf, Germany, releasing a few demos under that name before changing their name to DEATHROW and joining the venerable 1980s thrash label Noise records. Their style of music was similar to other German thrash acts with a focus on speed, aggression and violence. The first two albums they released, the 1986 debut ''Riders Of Doom'', which was initially entitled Satan's Gift before the inevitable banning and forced name-change, and ''Raging Steel'' from 1987 are straightforward thrash metal akin to fellow German acts DESTRUCTION and SODOM. The band members at that point were Markus HAHN performing drums, Sven FLUGGE on guitars, Milo on bass and vocals and Thomas PRIEBE on guitars.

Then, in 1988, with Uwe OSTERLEHNER replacing Thomas on guitars, the band took on a major shift in style, incorporating extremely complex technical workouts both rhythmically and solo-wise, as well as cleaner and higher pitched vocals and lyrics that dealt with social issues rather than their more nihilistic earlier output. The results of this new creative direction was ''Deception Ignored'', an astoundingly intricate release boasting strong virtuosity playing matching up with the riff-centric patterns of thrash metal. Its style is similar in vein to technical acts such as WATCHTOWER, MEKONG DELTA and CORONER without actually mimicking any of them.

Years later, in 1992, they would release one more effort on a small label, ''Life Beyond'' which tried to capture elements from both their early fast thrash days and their technically elaborate period, along with American groove metal elements that had become prominent in the metal scene by the early 90s. The band eventually folded in 1994, leaving behind an under-the-radar legacy that culminates with ''Deception Ignored'', a venerable release that was on the cutting edge of the developing progressive metal scene.

Biography by Prog Sothoth

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DEATHROW discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DEATHROW top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.83 | 5 ratings
Satan´s Gift (Riders of Doom)
1986
3.00 | 7 ratings
Raging Steel
1987
4.28 | 9 ratings
Deception Ignored
1988
4.20 | 5 ratings
Life Beyond
1992

DEATHROW Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DEATHROW Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DEATHROW Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DEATHROW Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Towers In Darkness
1992

DEATHROW Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Deception Ignored by DEATHROW album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.28 | 9 ratings

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Deception Ignored
Deathrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by VOTOMS

4 stars A classic technical thrash metal album from Germany 1988. Underrated goodness. A great album to date. Sounding like Toxik and Watchtower, but playing angry like Anthrax and Evil Dead. A very different Deathrow were playing this album. This is not the same Deathrow as before. Clean and high vocals, with some skillful musical fills at Coroner and Sadus level. The drums are insane. The hamrony between guitar and bass riffage is clearly visible. Very complex songwriting, mainly in the lenghty tracks and most progressive ones, like Triocton, an amazing instrumental performance, wich features an organ introduction and many variations. Maybe hard listening, because of the complexity, so the riff sequences are not so easily memorable, but the virtuous playing is very catchy at every listening, and makes Deception Ignored an entertaining album. Songs like Machinery are just evidences of their potential. The socially reprehensible theme fits well with this kind of music, and the album cover, even a little bit ugly, properly fulfills it's duty. Deception Ignored is still an ignored album. But this is Deathrow's prime, and one of my favorites into german thrash metal. Progressive and aggressive! Don't overlook it too.

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 Raging Steel by DEATHROW album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.00 | 7 ratings

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Raging Steel
Deathrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Raging Steel" is the 2nd full-length studio album by German thrash metal act Deathrow. The album was released in 1987 by Noise Records. Displeased Records re-issued "Raging Steel" on CD in 2008 featuring bonus tracks from the time when the band were know as Samhain.

The music on the album is thrash metal with a slight technical touch. The band are very well playing and especially some of the guitar solo work is excellent. The songs are well composed but not entirely without the sometimes awkward shifts in rythm and tempo that charachterizes much eighties thrash metal. The vocals are the low point of the album. Raw but not really aggressive or very convincing. There are a few shots at singing clean vocals on the album too, and that works pretty well.

The production is better than the production on the debut album and this actually counts for all features on "Raging Steel". The songwriting is better, the musicianship is better, and as mentioned above the production is also better than on the debut. So far so good.

Still listening to the album today, it does sound awfully dated and the hybrid thrash metal style ( German thrash metal/ US thrash metal) that Deathrow practices, while being more sophisticated than the more raw style of many of their contemporaries, isn´t always that rewarding. I´d call "Raging Steel" a pretty good German thrash metal album anyways though, and a 3 star rating is deserved. I´d recommend the album to fans of German thrash metal with a technical and at times melodic twist.

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 Satan´s Gift (Riders of Doom) by DEATHROW album cover Studio Album, 1986
2.83 | 5 ratings

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Satan´s Gift (Riders of Doom)
Deathrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Satan's Gift" is the debut full-length studio album by German thrash metal act Deathrow. The album was released in February 1986 by Noise Records. Displeased Records re-issued "Satan's Gift" on CD in 2008 featuring bonus tracks from the time when the band were know as Samhain.

The album has a rather interesting release history as the original cover artwork was banned. Therefore the second pressing of the album features a completely different artwork. But not only that. The band also changed the title of the album from "Satan's Gift" to "Riders of Doom". As far as I know the tracklist is the same for both versions.

The music on the album is thrash metal with clear nods toward the teutonic triumvirate of Sodom, Kreator and Destruction. So no surprises there. What is surprising, is that there are also some clear references to American thrash metal acts like Metallica ( around "Ride the Lightning (1984)") and Slayer ( listen to "Riders of Doom" and tell me that song doesn't sound almost exactly like "Black Magic" by Slayer) and even some melodic traits that reminds me of an act like Iron Maiden. It's a bit unusual to hear a German thrash metal act from those days producing an album this sophisticated, but of course if you know Deathrow's recording history it's not that strange. They would go on to produce much more technical and sophisticated thrash metal albums later on in their career. But the style here on "Satan's Gift", while generally more sophisticated than the more raw and simple style of their contemporaries, is still rather old school.

"Satan's Gift" is a promising debut album by Deathrow, but it's not perfect by any means. The too obvious influences and the rather bad production are issues that drag my rating down. Still a 2.5 - 3 star rating is deserved.

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