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The Defiled - Daggers (Album Review)

Thursday, 01 August 2013 Written by Alec Chillingworth

The next big thing. The future of British music. Saviours of rock 'n' roll. How many times have those words been said about bands who don't deserve brown-nosing on such a preposterous level?

We live in a world where Bullet For My Valentine and Asking Alexandria could release an absolute stinker of an album and still rack up huge sales. The scene is dominated by stale, two-dimensional cash cows and a kick up the arse is desperately needed. 

This is where the Defiled come in. Since their inception in 2005, the band have slowly been worming their way into metal's collective consciousness. While their criminally overlooked ‘1888’ EP failed to make waves, their 2011 debut album ‘Grave Times’ showed obscene amounts of potential, bagging them support slots with the likes of Murderdolls, Ghost and Skindred.

Their brand of industrial-tinged metal has recently scored them a deal with Nuclear Blast and it seems that everything is finally falling into place for the five-piece London wrecking crew. ‘Daggers’ could see the Defiled soaring into the rock mainstream, or, alternatively, send them screaming back into the dirty underground scene for the rest of their career.

Following the cinematic intro to album opener Sleeper, it's painfully obvious that the Defiled have no intention of sinking into obscurity. Staccato guitar lines grasp the ears and refuse to let go, dragging the listener into a minefield of animosity before venturing back into keyboard-led, grandiose territory. And then the chorus. Good lord, the chorus.

With such a blinder of an opening track, the next song should suffer from a severe dip in quality. Nope. Unspoken is up next, packing a melody that equals if not surpasses Sleeper's. Vocalist Stitch D's high-pitched roar gives way to his sneering clean vocals, taking the chorus to a new level. Blistering, venomous verses coupled with anthemic choruses are the catch of the day, and the Defiled are hungry.

‘Daggers’ contains enough subtle variations, and the occasional 'WHAT IS HAPPENING?' moment, in order to retain the listener's attention, while new member Needles gives the kids a lesson in brutality behind the kit. His thunderous tub-thumping elevates the band's industrial edge, and his Gene Hoglan-esque patterns on Saints And Sinners prove that he could easily lend himself to a more extreme outfit if he wanted to.

As with most artists who include an industrial influence, the Defiled use keyboards to an expert standard. The gloriously cheesy synth on The Infected wouldn't sound out of place on a downbeat Rammstein tune and, coupled with the addictive singalong chorus, the use of keys adds a superb rattle that's going to make this a crowd favourite in a live environment.

Acoustic ditty Five Minutes also benefits from the inclusion of electronics, ensnared in an atmospheric blanket that works so much better than ‘Grave Times’' acoustic closer, Final Sleep. Although, the keyboards could do with being a tad lower in the mix at times, as it sometimes steals the attention from the otherwise knockout choruses.

With no song exceeding the five minute mark, the Defiled have spawned an album full of modern metal anthems that possess the bollocks to gain the respect of old-school rockers. This band has always been a ferocious force in the live arena, and now they finally have the tunes to back it up. If they aren't headlining Brixton Academy five years from now, it's going to be a very sad day for the British metal scene. Very sad indeed.





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