There have been some pretty badass comeback albums from old school Thrash bands recently. SACRIFICE kicked the living shit out of me. ARTILLERY threw down better than they did at their prime with their new album. Unfortunately, as with all of the universe, things have to balance. With all of these kickass comebacks, there were going to be some that just do not kick ass, and, much to my dismay, I’m going to have to add DEFIANCE to that list.
Fans of the underground American act are going to find plenty to love on their latest album, “The Prophecy”, their first release in a whopping 17 years. It’s pretty similar to their last release “Beyond Recognition” in a variety of ways, but time has not necessarily been nice to the band and a lackluster album is the result.
What really makes “The Prophecy” so much of a let down is the sheer lack of ‘oomph’ on it. The band nicely blends their Thrash riffing, a heavy dose of that Californian melody, drums that keep up the energy (with extensive rolls too), a bass that is hit or miss, and a vocalist that keeps on par with the current sound of Chuck Billy of TESTAMENT fame, but from the beginning to the end, it just sounds like the band going through the motions. Perhaps there is the heart somewhere in the music, but I, for the life of me, could not connect to it. They have written a solid album that many fans of the band, and some newcomers, might find entertaining, but it’s far from anything great and definitely not up to par with their own work. It doesn’t help when its production does zilch to help the band out with its somewhat weaker songwriting and overall “The Prophecy” will come and go and one forgets that they listened to it. At least that was my experience with it.
I wish I could say even more about it, like the band threw down some hellacious effort to create a Thrashterpiece and were just off with some of the choices, but I don’t even think that was the case. “The Prophecy” comes off just as another Thrash release that bided my time between other releases. It’s a sad thought really when I wanted DEFIANCE to rank up there with some of those other monstrous comeback records. It has its moments on each song, but none of them are going to rank up there, and a lack luster release ends up just sitting on my shelf.
Songs to check out: “Prion”, “The War Inside”, “Dissolving Around You”.
(Online January 30, 2010)