The Defiled-Daggers

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It seems that The Defiled have had their work cut out for them ever since the release of their “1888” EP in 2009. Countless festival appearances including Bloodstock, Download and Sonisphere as well as quite a few tour dates supporting bands as widely recognized as Murderdolls have garnered the band quite a lot of attention in recent years, not least because of The AvD’s maniacal live performances, every time proceeding to smash the poor electronic brains out of a keyboard/synthesiser. That said, the band seem to be critically acclaimed as an eccentric live band as opposed to one that is musically successful in the studio. The band’s first album, “Grave times”, launched their now successful career, but it’s really with their second album, “Daggers”, that the band are looking towards bigger and ironically brighter things.

It’s true that “Daggers” won’t really change the minds of those who either like or dislike the band, yet The Defiled’s second album often seems to open up to a larger fanbase, particularly those within more extreme sub-genres such as thrash metal. This isn’t to say that the band have ditched their notable Industrial/Synth-heavy metal style for that of a much more aggressive approach, but with songs such as ‘Sleeper’, ‘Unspoken’ and ‘New approach’ providing as much heaviness as a fan of extreme metal can handle, fans of the band may well be expecting a few more moshpits the next time they see them live again. Even the more lenient, somewhat calmer songs in ‘Porcelain’ and ‘Five minutes’ seem to have quite a gritty edge to their melodious and brooding overtones, which almost provide a Gothic atmosphere in the same vein as Lacuna Coil. Fans of the band will most definitely cherish these songs, as will newer listeners, but there is the slight problem that a lack of variety may not quite be made up so easily with heavier sounds.

Interestingly, and the band’s frontman, Stitch, has indeed confirmed this, the songs themselves are notably shorter than on “Grave times”. With song lengths ranging from barely three minutes to a mere four and a half-minutes (the longest being ‘As I drown’, which features half a minute’s worth of purely industrial noise), it would appear that the band are opting for songs of a more simplistic and less complex approach, which also happen to be considerably less drawn out than, say, ‘In the land of fools’. However, the biggest problem with this, and perhaps for the album itself, is definitely the fact that shorter songs may give the instrumentation, particularly the rhythm section, less breathing space. The AvD, as brilliant and enigmatic as he is with his instrument, does seem to take center stage on most of the album’s songs, including ‘Saints and sinners’ and the rather hit-and-miss ‘The infected’, and there are rarely any times when the rhythm section has a bit of time to really show outstanding performances. It’s not too big of a problem, as the well-structured intro to both ‘The unspoken’ and ‘The mourning after’ prove.

Vocal performances haven’t really ever been a particularly positive or negative aspect of The Defiled’s career, but the cleaner vocals on the band’s latest album could really benefit from being a bit stronger. It’s not that they’re soft, or even akin to a human gargling in broken glass (as welcome as that sensation would be), but somehow they only ever sound powerful when sung entirely on their own, without the more aggressive vocals or screams fading in and out of ‘Sleeper’ or ‘Fragments of hope’. Arguably the most fitting way for the clean vocals to be introduced is perhaps the sing-along choruses, seemingly prepared to harmonize to upon instant listens, which do add both melody and power to the music itself. Yet when they are mixed in with vocals of a more aggressive nature, as on ‘The infected’, it just proves to be a bit of a mess. Nonetheless, if you’re wanting to sing along with the band when seeing them live anytime soon, the clean vocals are definitely beneficial.

The Defiled are a band that are always on the road to bigger, brighter, and more promising things, and “Daggers” proves that more than anything else. They may be much more effective when on the stage (something which really works to every band’s advantage these days), but it’s advisable to give “Daggers” a try. You’ll be instantly hooked for sure.

3.7/5

1. Sleeper

2. Unspoken

3. Saints and sinners

4. As I drown

5. Porcelain

6. New approach

7. Fragments of hope

8. The infected

9. The mourning after

10. Five minutes

11. No place like home

Released: 2nd August (EU)

5th August (UK)

6th August (US)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedefiled?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thedefiled

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/THEDEFILEDTV

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