Defiled - In Crisis
Season Of Mist
Death Metal
12 songs (44:39)
Release year: 2011
Defiled, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Charles
A shimmering keyboard ‘woooooooo’ opens Defiled’s In Crisis- a 20 second introduction that is wholly, bafflingly inappropriate given what follows. Because shortly afterwards, proper opener Lethal Agitator bellyflops in; an ejaculating splurge of reverberating death metal and twangingly frenetic bass guitar preposterousness. It will take you no more than a few seconds of this to work out whether you will enjoy it or not. It’s technical, brutal death metal, a fact amply evidenced by Haruhisa Takahata’s ‘look at me, mum!’ bass arpeggios, and Takahiro Okada’s drumming tatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatat...

Still, the reason I actually quite like this is because it has an air of hoarily underproduced old-school wantonness which distinguishes it from the pumped-up chest-beaters of today’s tech death mainstream- essentially a metal rendering of the ‘uuuuuurgh’ sound emitted by those bellowing men that cluster around stacks of weights at the gym. The guitar, in particular, has this haywire quality that makes it hard to distinguish what it is actually playing on occasions. Sometimes it is a deafening roar of furiously vibrating feedback, and at other points a maniacal scratching, like grievously over-caffeinated old Morbid Angel riffs. This is not necessarily the most natural partner for the band’s turbo charged bass and percussion geekery, but the factors conspire (along with Kenji Sato’s brilliantly guttural vocals) to ensure that Defiled conjure a fearsome din. As the nifty cover art suggests, this feels closer to the band’s early 1990s roots than the modern world of Braindrill goofing.

So, at times there is a hideous energy to this which is quite something to behold. Resentment Without End, for example, has this frantic, sickening churn to it, with bludgeoning, beefed-up thrash riffs flanked by a rhythm section which seems incapable of finding a lower gear. Lethal Agitator rockets away without any pretension, with the flamboyancy of the bass guitar playing being virtually drowned out by the rough and readiness of the riffing. The latter, in fact, sometimes seems like just a painfully contorted rush of scuzz, like a horse’s whinny amplified and distorted many times over. The flip side of this approach is that at other points it feels like a bit of a mess, albeit a pleasingly raucous one. Take Behind You Pray, which veers wildly from dense, pounding chromatic riffing to occasional snatches of headbanging groove and rapidly back again. Oh, and be sure to admire Unconscious Slavery, which seems to scrunch all these elements haphazardly together into a potted six minute epic of shameless excess.

So, a worthy return for Defiled after eight years with no studio output. It’s the kind of thing that could be easily ignored, having on one hand a chaotic, unbalanced sound and on the other an ambitiously technical approach to metal: two things which sit uneasily together. But for me, this is part of its appeal. The band has a distinctive sound which will not please everyone, but which for some will constitute a delightful forty minutes of ear vomit.

Killing Songs :
Lethal Agitator, Resentment Without End, Unconscious Slavery
Charles quoted 78 / 100
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