"So, Mr. Sendra, the 250.000 dollar question. What does an ambitioned musician from Uruguay, who wants to assemble a band, but cannot find musicians fitting musically and/or personally do?
A) Nothing, he continues to search.
B) He splits.
C) He decides to record everything himself.
D) He joins a different band."
"Hm... I say C), I decide to record everything myself."
This or something to this extent could have been the case with DAWN OF DEFIANCE, because Diego Sendra, so the full name of the gentleman, is this one musician, who has taken on to write, perform and produce the two tracks to be found on "Summoning Death" all on his own, with the only support by Tamara Dapueto (his girl friend), who did the cover artwork, that's what you call will, eh?
So what does the gentleman from Montevideo play under the banner of DAWN OF DEFIANCE? The beginning of the title track could almost come from older METALLICA, dark, somewhat foreboding with undistorted guitar, bass and drums, before thrashy Death Metal breaks through, nicely variable in its structure, especially speed wise covering almost all shades between up tempo and almost doomy and also in the riffing being anything but one dimensional, also well balancing heaviness and melodies, so apart from the at times a bit undifferentiated production the vocals remain my only point of criticism, for one a bit too much growling in the same pitch all the time and also with a bit too much reverb, which gives them an a bit weird sound and at times drowning out the music.
The second track "Haunted Dreams" is a bit older than "Summoning Death" and already had been released as a single before, but thankfully it is also included on this one. Style wise it is a bit different, after an atmospheric beginning with many wind sounds it starts out doomy, with half clear vocals, before instrumentation and also vocals get more powerful and the speed is increased at first a little, then quite a bit, after which the song alternates between calm and heavier passages, which's foundation still is Death Metal, musically as vocally, but here also enriched with some influences from Thrash Metal and a bit more traditional Metal riffing. Especially the calmer elements very nicely contrast with the heavier passages, giving the song dynamics.
Two songs always are a little, ehm little to get a real picture of a band, as it is more a little snack than a whole steak that you could sink your journalistic teeth into. The production also is not the best, but with a one man project in every possible way, this is not a big surprise, compository I have to say that Diego is managing to bring in quite some variety without leaving the chosen style, being variable in both intensity and speed and also by having a good balance between brutality and melody. That not everything is running round yet is clear, but you should put DAWN OF DEFIANCE onto your plan, with a bit more experience and a better production something interesting could evolve here! (Online February 4, 2004)