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Def By Volume - State Of Man (3/10) - Australia - 2002

Genre: Metal
Label: Self-production
Playing time: 73:15
Band homepage: -

Tracklist:

  1. Judgement
  2. Dark Forces
  3. Nightmare
  4. Hey Diddle Diddle
  5. Talking To You
  6. Grunge
  7. Laughter
  8. Beaten Not Broken
  9. Beat Me Up
  10. Hit Somebody
  11. U Must Pay
  12. Another World
  13. Heavy Techno
  14. Angel
  15. Get Thee Hence
  16. Get Thee Hence (gtr mix)
  17. Classic
  18. State Of Man
  19. Drums Of War
  20. Armed & Dangerous
  21. Volatile
  22. War & Death & Hatred
  23. Death March
Def By Volume - State Of Man
As stated by the info sheet of this promo-CD, DEF BY VOLUME is an one-man band by the Australian guy John Castellain. He entirely composed, produced and engineered the album, generally also playing all the instruments by himself. Moreover, as I can read here, it took a period of time of more than 5 years in his home studio to craft this 'opus'. What a waste of time.

I simply can't believe it, 'cos "State Of Man" is so dismaying it can lead the luckless listener to depression. Well, I realize that such a comment can seem excessively harsh, but man you have to listen to this before blaming me.

The album counts 23 tracks, but none of them can be properly defined as a decent song. In fact, some of them are just annoying instrumental-songs, really too much long, repetitive and boring to raise the interest of the listener. Moreover, we got a couple of dull joke songs ("Laughter" is just, well, a laughter, and "Beat Me Up" is the soundtrack of a beating) mixed here and there, and I really can't figure out what they're intended for.

Unfortunately, the songs which aren't purposed for being jokes are worse than the joke ones, and that is the real flaw of this "State Of Man"-thingy.

The main lack on here is in the songwriting. None of the tracks has a solid structure, it all seems to be randomized here, and can you think of a worse offence for a record which required more than 5 years to be arranged? I for sure can't, but it's the impression I had while listening.

The songs on there are just minimal to the bone, sometimes showing a rather dirty Metal-riffing, but the bulk of 'em can't be properly ascribed to our beloved subgenre, mixing a lot different styles, from old 70's rock to funk-hints. The vocals are hidden behind walls of vocal effects; there aren't suitable choruses nor something even resembling a vocal line, and that's an aspect which contributes a lot to the complete failure of this work.

In all fairness, a few good ideas are noticeable nonetheless (e.g. "U Must Pay" and the drumming intro on "Heavy Techno"), but they're like teensy glow worms in the utter dark.

On a final note, the monicker of the record is given away by the first track, basically a spoken intro in which a guy is sentenced to be 'def by volume' by this album 'cos he's guilty of supporting easy-listening music. A severe penalty indeed.

Luca Moscatiello



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