Defiled: In Crisis

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Defiled: In Crisis
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Defiled: In Crisis
Brutal Death Metal
Season of Mist Records
January 25th, 2011
Release length: 44:39
Myspace
Website
Defiled originates from Tokyo, Japan, and formed back in 1992. It’s hard to believe that this act is pushing towards a twenty year anniversary at the time of this review, but for the fans, it’s a reality. Chances are good that, over the years, the band’s name has been thrown around, or you happened upon one of their CDs somewhere without realizing it due to the underground nature of the band, and since aside an EP and demo, the group only issued three full-length releases, the last being in 2003. Now, roughly eight years later, the group brings their latest effort, In Crisis, to the patiently waiting fans, and the mass of new and hungry Brutal Death Metal legions that await to be fed more. It may have been a long period of silence for the band, but it’s clear they can still compose some crushingly brutal, yet still technical, Death Metal.

And that’s one thing that really makes this release stand out. The band is able to make some really intense Brutal Death Metal that, at it’s core isn’t all that intricate, but the guitars themselves show some nice complexity, and a strong focus on adding another layer to the mixture with the bass. While the bass itself isn’t all too complex, it makes a louder presence by having that twanging sound that a number of Technical, as well as Brutal Death Metal acts incorporate into their material, and it really just makes the music stand out more by showing that the bass gives life to the recording other then simply being in the background and following the same exact guitar patterns throughout the song. One of the stand out moments, outside the twanging on “Lethal Agitator”, which sounds fantastic on it’s own, is the bass solo that kicks in during “Unconscious Slavery” and really just takes command of the song and shows off the talent and potential the bassist brings with him to this group.

Atop of the notable Bass work to the release, it seems to stay away from many of today’s Brutal Death Metal stereotypes, and focusing more on the glory days of the story of just being heavy and ultimately like the style suggests: Brutal. The production quality of the recording is rather clear, but still slightly muddy, which couples nicely with the guitars and bass to just give a menacing, and often chaotic sound to the material, like on the monsterous song “Unconscious Slavery”. The vocals are typically a deeper gutteral, but nothing to the point of inhuman, which sounds perfectly fine on the recording, but at times it can be mixed with the traditional higher rhaspier approach, though luckily not over used or abused in any manner, leaving much of the attention on the gutteral vocals. It also helps that there are no pig squeels or cupped microphone attempts to sound deeper in any way, which gives a more mature, tighter, and sophisticated sound to the recording.

It’s a given that not all the tracks will click right away on this recording, and they eventually may take some time to grow on you due to the many sudden shifts and varying bass lines that don’t follow the traditional “copy the guitarist” formula that has become so common in today’s Metal, technical and non. The title track, “In Crisis”, is the perfect place to start with material that will take a little time to be acceptable. The song starts with what sounds like sound effects from a classic game like Scramble, the sound of something falling, then exploding, much like missiles in those types of games. The song then slams in, hammering away with technical guitars, both lead and bass, and constantly shifts throughout the recording. This track definitely focuses more ont he technical aspect of the band then anything else, as it doesn’t quite have the same impact as the heavier, more Brutal-oriented cuts like “Unconscious Slavery” and “Revelation of Doom”, but there is no denying how intense and simply angry the track truly is at the core, and how impressive the technical skills of the group are. But, while that there is a strong technical approach to the music, the band has no problem laying it all on the line with less intricate tracks like “Intolerant” that, while still technical, come off more as just old-school Death Metal inspired tracks with a little hint of brutality to compliment the palette.

Basically, In Crisis is a fantastic return to power for Defiled. The band may have disappeared for a long while, but with this release the group picks up right where they left off, and completely dominate you with their excellent combination of brutality and technicality. The only issues that can be had with this recording are “From Alpha” and “To Omega”, the intro and outro tracks of the release, as they don’t really do much to set up, or properly end the album, and seem more like simple thirty second fillers tracks that could have been included in the tracks they are meant to set up, but were extended into their own cuts for the release. Of course, these barely push over thirty seconds and don’t truly do any harm, but just feel a little weaker then what one would want or expect from a punishing album of this caliber, especially “To Omega” which is just a weird sound that comes off more like a record being skipped to a fade out that only lasts a few seconds anyhow. In the long run, if you like impressive yet commanding talent and performances from your Metal, whether it’s of a branch of Death Metal or not, make In Crisis by Defiled an important, and immediate purchase.

01. From Alpha – 0:23
02. Lethal Agitator – 3:30
03. Retrogression – 3:33
04. Unconscious Slavery – 6:04
05. Paradoxical Chaos – 2:49
06. In Crisis – 5:07
07. Behind You Pray – 4:30
08. Resentment Without End – 5:19
09. Intolerant – 4:42
10. Maze of Nescience – 4:10
11. Revelation of Doom – 4:22
12. To Omega – 0:10
Overall Score: 9.5/10
Defiled (band)Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.