Review by Asher Locketz

South African Heavy Metal Titans DEADLINE Release New Album VITRIOL INC

Don your steel plated armour, unbridle your most battle-ready steed, and gather your broad sword and shield for folks we are about to wage war in the name of Heavy Metal! Courtesy of South African Heavy Metal Battalion Deadline, in the form of their volcanic new album ‘Vitriol Inc’ you will be taken on a journey through a landscape peppered with denim, studded black leather belts, explosive riffs, blistering drumming, scorching solos and soaring vocals. Featuring feral frontman Jessy Switchblade on vocals, guitarists Judge Mental and The Skullprit, bassist Damian Dread and drummer Wrighteous Mike who also provides backing vocals, this ferocious fivesome unleash rousing, euphoric Heavy Metal distilled to its purest and most propulsive essence.

Vitriol Inc’ consists of ten triumphant pieces of turbulent and titular Heavy Metal artistry. Beginning with an atmospheric intro entitled ‘’Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum” and leading into the fist pumping rhythmic swagger of “Vitriol”, a track that brings to mind ‘Painkiller’ era Judas Priest, ‘Vitriol Inc’ makes its intent known early on in the proceedings. This is hedonistic, spirited and scorching Heavy Metal magic that alongside being unique is a vibrant paean to the red-blooded smoulder plied by Dark Angel, Razor, Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate and Exciter.

Cult Of Prometheus” is a double kick fuelled romp through barbed wire riffs, skin shredding solos and searing vocals with a chorus that is made to set arenas alight across the globe. This is a call to arms in the most vintage Heavy Metal sense replete with a froth of chugging riffs, bruising rhythmic interplay, mythological imagery and the amazing range possessed by Jessy Switchblade. Switchblade possesses a vocal range that is on par with the siren like pipes of both King Diamond and Rob Halford.

The sparkling dual guitar devastation threaded through “Synthetic Illusion” is infectious in the most primal sense. Herein one is treated to a blissful barrage of skin shredding solos that set one’s synapses ablaze in a conflagration of diabolical light.

My Sweet Apocalypse” is a power ballad where melodies intertwine and shimmer like a nest of chrome plated vipers beneath the glow of a full moon. This moving track reaches an emotional crescendo of note.

Beginning with a stuttering riff and barrelling forth at a bruising pace, “Codebreaker”, with its immaculate Thrash inflected bluster and scintillating melodies is prime real estate for anyone looking to settle down upon a bedrock of blazing guitar driven glory.

The galloping rhythmic sway of “Ghost Of Kyiv” is not without its sentimental depth just as the delicate ballad that is “Exhale” shimmers with lovelorn desire and embattled compassion.

Following two rather reflective tracks, in contrast the muscular onslaught of neck snapping Heavy Metal malevolence that is “Devil In Disguise” is all the more murderous.

Monuments” ends ‘Vitriol Inc’ in a suitably scorching fashion, portraying the Heavy Metal mastery that Deadline possess with aplomb.

Be sure to clamp your peepers on the fevered music videos that accompany this magical opus for ‘’Cult Of Prometheus”, “My Sweet Apocalypse”, “Vitriol” and “Monuments”. Allow yourself to be enveloped by the visual splendour that awaits.

Deadline is an incandescent coven, a veritable collective of Heavy Metal warlocks who conjure forth immaculately constructed Metal that seemingly surges through their veins like lava through the arteries of a volcano. Their understanding of the form is astute and their passion genuine. In many ways it is frightening how well they execute their powerful anthems.

There is no doubt as to why this Pretoria based band has been championed by the international press, Metal Hammer included. Deadline are waving the flag for the new wave of Old School Heavy Metal high! On ‘Vitriol Inc’ Deadline have constructed what can only be described as an ironclad opus, an album that sizzles with unmitigated heft and swagger of the most magnificent sort.


Stream ‘Vitriol Inc’ on all platforms

Track Listing:

1. Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum

2. Vitriol

3. Cult Of Prometheus

4. Synthetic Illusions

5. My Sweet Apocalypse

6. Codebreaker

7. Ghost Of Kyiv

8. Exhale

9. Devil In Disguise

10. Monuments


Jessy Switchblade (Vocals)

Judge Mental (Guitar)

The Skullprit (Guitar)

Damian Dread (Bass)

Wrighteous Mike (Drums)


From choosing a band name taken from a Testament song, to wearing their beautifully crafted battle jackets emblazoned with the names of their favourite heavy metal bands, the quintet is hellbent on bringing the nostalgia, exuberance, and blood thirsty passion of the 80’s without necessarily pigeonholing themselves in one sole genre.

Formed in Pretoria, South Africa in 2014, Deadline played their first show at a friend’s house party on 7 March 2015 and have not looked back since. 2 albums and an EP later, they have become the fore runners of the Old School Heavy Metal sound in South Africa which they have dubbed the “New Wave of South African Heavy Metal”. With 6 South African Metal Music Awards to their name, a dedicated fanbase who dub themselves the “Deadline Heavy Metal Crew” and an energetic, passionate live show second only to their heroes Iron Maiden, they march with intent and pride towards the release of their 3rd album, “Vitriol Inc” that will undoubtedly be their most daring release yet.

Led by the effervescent, high flying Frontman Jessy Switchblade, Deadline have undergone a few core changes during the pandemic, but have now solidified their line up around guitarists Judge Mental and The Skullprit (the last original member along with Jessy), bassist Damian Dread and percussionist and back up vocalist Wrighteous Mike. The quintet is hellbent on bringing the nostalgia, exuberance, and blood thirsty passion of the 80’s without necessarily pigeonholing themselves in one sole genre. Their music transcends genres, it transcends generations, it’s an ode to the decade that changed us forever. Sit down in your Lamborghini Countach, strap your seat belt, and let their crashing drums, pulsating bass rhythms, bright neon guitar riffs and screeching vocals take you back to your glorious metallic past!

We are metal! We are fire! We are legacy! We are energy! We are power! We are Deadline!

Leave a Reply