By Greg Maki
Emerging in 2017 with its debut album, “Mis-An-Thrope,” DED has been a significant player in the recent nu metal revival, and that looks to continue with album number two, “School of Thought.” However, working with producer Kevin Churko (Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed), the band has incorporated more modern, melodic hard rock flavors this time around.
Frontman Joe Cotela’s more varied vocal attack plays a large role in progressing the band’s sound. You can hear him take a different approach on each of the album’s first four songs—“Ghost,” the single “Kill Beautiful Things,” an eerie cover of The Cure’s “Love Song” (featuring In This Moment’s Maria Brink) and “Eyes Sewn Shut”—and then mix and match those styles throughout the remaining seven tracks. (It’s a perfect example of how a lack of a wildly dynamic vocal range doesn’t have to hinder creativity.) At the same time, some of the record’s most nu metal songs—the bangers “A Mannequin Idol” and “Parasite”—are among its finest moments. “Persona” also is noteworthy with its spot-on plea of “Stop making stupid people famous.”
While not exactly a game-changer, “School of Thought” is an effective blend of past and present, a record that finds a comfortable spot between retro and modern. The nu metal roots still are showing, but you won’t feel like you’ve taken a time machine back to 1998 when you cue up this collection of tunes in your playlist.
Suretone Records – October 15, 2021