Chilean thrash band Critical Defiance just released their release album Misconception. I must say, if you’re a fan of thrash, you’ll love it ! It has everything it needs: driving rhythm, crushing drums, and an assault of aggressive riffs and leads.
Speed and vocals
When first listening to the album, one of the first things that came to my mind was “Where are the vocals ?”. While it is true that vocals are rather scarce in most songs. Take the opening song Desert Ways for instance, where the vocals don’t really start until about halfway through the song. Or the fourth one named 507 (I’m not kidding) which is entirely instrumental. I know as good as anyone that you don’t need vocals and lyrics to have a good song, but one thing I always loved about thrash was tight and aggressive playing, accompanied by one hell of a shouting voice really giving a drive to the song. However, Critical Defiance has managed to make me see that aspect a little bit differently. The songs are all very well-written. Each part of the song transitions greatly into the next which creates an overall dynamic and speed without making it seem like the song is just hurrying to its end.
Bay Area with a touch of personality
A little bit more about the stylistic aspect of the songwriting maybe. It’s clear the band was influenced a lot by the Bay Area thrash bands from the 80’s. They’ve taken the pioneering work of bands like Testament and Exodus, even up to the point that the first time I saw the album cover, it reminded me of Toxic Holocaust. But they used this groundwork to do their own thing with it. Instead of just doing a copy-paste, the work has some kind of own character to it. Another thing which I can really appreciate is how the songs also have this more melodic aspect. And I don’t just mean tasteful shredding instead of practically assailing your fret board. Not to say that the solo work isn’t worth mentioning. The solos are fast, flashy and well supported by a driving rhythm. But no, I mean the whole melodiousness. The way all the different sounds are woven together to create a whole. For a great example of this, I’d like to refer to 507 once again. This song shows what great songwriters these guys actually are, even mixing some jazzy parts in their music. And I must say, it simply works.
To wrap it up; this is a great debut album by a promising band. And this certainly isn’t the last we’ll hear from these guys. I’m looking forward to seeing them live one day, and after listening to the album, you probably will be too.
Release date : February 8, 2019
Label : Unspeakable Axe Records
1. Desert Ways
2. Spiral of Hatred
3. Punished Existence
5. What About You
7. Pursuit of Chaos