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Defiance - The Prophecy (5/10) - USA - 2009

Genre: Thrash Metal / Groove Metal
Label: Candlelight Records USA
Playing time: 40:20
Band homepage: Defiance

Tracklist:

  1. The Prophecy
  2. Bastard Son
  3. The War Inside
  4. Fuel The Fire
  5. Eschaton
  6. Sloth
  7. Desert Sands
  8. Dissolving Around You
  9. Asthmaphere
  10. Eyes Of The Front

The history of DEFIANCE has been one of being, to coin an American saying, a day late and a dollar short. Their debut album, “Product Of Society,” was released in 1989, a full six years after the Thrash era began. Furthermore, in terms of quality, it and its two successors, “Void Terra Firma”, and “Beyond Recogntion,” never rose above the level of being merely competent. They weren't bad, but thry never achieved anything close to the quality or originality of the material that had been available fer years from bands like SLAYER, METALLICA, ANTHRAX, MEGADETH, EXODUS, OVERKILL, SACRED REICH...you get the idea.

This latest release follows this same established pattern. “The Prophecy” comes out several years into the Thrash Revival, and it offers little that hasn't already been done by the likes of PANTERA, SEPULTURA, and LAMB OF GOD, which was DEFIANCE's biggest problem the first time around. There is very little here that is original and unique. Many of the riffs sound familiar, and some of the rhythms seem to repeat themselves within the album itself. Now this is by itself not a damning characteristic, since the current cadre of Thrash bands contain many who are imitative, but are still worth checking our. What separates those from the rest is the passion that they bring and the skill with which they execute. “The Prophecy” doesn't really deliver either here.

There are some spots here that are put together well. The band occasionally pull out some more frantic stuff, and particularly on tracks like “Dissolving Around You,” the tempo changes between a simmering Groove and a furious Thrash are welcome, and are handled well by the band. However, in other areas, this skill in constructing songs is less evident. Guitar solos are a particular weak point. Many of them seem like pieces of solos that have been strung together within a single song, resulting in a choppy sound in which an individual solo tailored to a particular song is never afforded the opportunity to develop and grow.

In short, this material bears little resemblance to the original DEFIANCE. Given how much time has elapsed since their previous album, it is only natural that some new influences will creep in. However, when also considering the band's precedent for joining the scene late and, once there, imitating rather than innovating, the reunion and dramatic change in sound can also create the impression that the band are trying to cash in.

(Online February 21, 2010)

Steve Herrmann



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