Defeatist - Tyranny Of Decay
2011, Nerve Altar
I won't even try to pigeon-hole these guys into a genre. Is it grind? Yeah, sort of, but ... no not really. Hardcore? Umm, yeah well, yes but also no. Metal then? Yeah that too, but kind of not. In the end the only thing that counts is if it's any good. And Defeatist are good. Really good. They write catchy as hell riffs and saturate them with little twists and turns and semi-progressive flurries and huge helpings of blast beats. I love how they move flawlessly from fast bouncy punk riffs to menacing black metal-snarling melodies in no time at all and then without missing a beat crank up the blast beats. This is some really intense shit, but it's also very technical in a way that I rarely hear in bands like Defeatist, with breakneck turns and stops and weird time-signatures. There's a real sense of melody here, in the middle of all the sonic mayhem, that often reminds me of more progressive, jazzier, artists like Nomeansno and Converge (even though they in turn have basically nothing in common, besides being fucking amazing bands) and also a sense of off-beat dissonance in both riffing and melody. The vocal patterns and the vocals themselves give off a really dirty d-beat/black metal vibe, which, strangely, works really well with the music. These guys are something of a stand out within this weird anything-goes genre. They're both messier and more progressive than most of their peers. Two manically flailing thumbs up for Defeatist.