Thursday, December 24, 2015
Defeater : "Abandoned"
Ok, now I'm catching up on hard-core so it brings me to this Boston band. They typically they create concept albums this one is about an apostate priest and they almost had me fooled into thinking they were a christian band and if that was the case this review would not have happened. The first song is brooding and dark not get caught up in all the straight anger all the way that begins to weigh on them on "Unanswered". They keep melody and give the song enough space to still make it work. The get into the full speed ahead more punk influence pacing on "December 1943". When it gets into the hardcore chant part the music takes a nice dissonant churn under it. The singer rants about his demons on "Spared in Hell" as he tries to find weight in the words. His word do get better than poison on "Divination". This song has more sonic power to of breaking down to allow their screamer to scream over the negative space in the song.Things get more melodic, that is as melodic as they can be without actual singing , which actually shows up at the end of "Borrowed & Blue". This adds another dynamic layer that needed as his coarse scream was beginning to give the album a monochrome dynamic.
They rip off into a brief faster attack and rein it back in which is one of their strengths as a band.They keep the dark mood and retain the religious symbolism, with some great lines "one hand on the altar / the other to the wind". The lyrics could have easily annoyed me if they were not handled so well. The guitar tone gets cleaner on "Remorse". Their drummer keeps thing pretty varied, he stays in the pocket on "Pillar of Salt"in fact the drums dominate that song. "Atonement" finally falls prey to the albums lyrics, causing the song to sound the same. "Vice and Regret" takes the album out on a more melodic note. There is a scripture reading/prayer in the back ground. He reflects on grief and failure in this song.
This album is pretty ambitious . They keep up the theme, sure in a few places it makes the songs a little too uniform, but overall they take enough chances to keep things from being the same ole stale hardcore from the 90s. Not as heavy as say Converge, they are not as rooted in metal as that band either. These guys are onto something with this one and won me over, doubt it's something I'll get too much mileage from , but it's a well crafted piece of hardcore for people who have a steadier diet of this than I , so I'll round it up to an 8.