Since the release of 2011′s debut Grave Times, several exciting things have happened to London metallers The Defiled.
They’ve completed successful tours with the likes of Murderdolls, Malefice and even Dragonforce. Even more interesting, however, is that they have recently signed up with none other than Nuclear Blast Entertainment.
I have followed this band since 2008, seeing them in small clubs and even a converted public toilet – but big things are on the horizon for these chaps and Daggers is the catapult this band have been relentlessly working towards.
It is rare that you come across a band that can so easily span so many genres and styles, mixing everything from industrial and metalcore, to goth and electro, and Daggers is the brilliant culmination of these styles. This record was recorded and produced in Florida at Audio Hammer Studios (after a successful Pledge Music campaign) under the watchful eye of Jason Suecof; a man who brought bands such as Trivium worldwide recognition. But it’s now the era of The Defiled!
The record opens with the lead single Sleeper, a track that has now become a staple of the bands energetic, and at times completely chaotic, live sets. A marching drum beat meets with haunting electronics to introduce an ominous and haunted feeling, shortly followed by a dagger to the chest when frontman Stitch D’s vocals penetrate the void. The vicious electronics continue through to the second single Unspoken, which is an altogether ear-obliterating collection of noise. Once the vocal hooks lay waste to you, it becomes clear just how big these tracks sound, suitable for whatever stage this band find themselves upon.
The madly bouncy As I Drown is melodic and aggressive. When performed live, a spark is lit, and energy flows throughout this number. It has an infectious chorus that I’m sure just about anyone can relate to in “I have tried my hardest and you have beat me down…“. Melodic electronic sections lead this track straight through to Porcelain, a brilliantly dark track that even Trent Reznor would have been proud to have penned. This track sees the group take a different approach, as it’s less aggressive from the off. The distorted vocal lines work to bring into play elements of Nine Inch Nails, or even Deftones, inspiration.
The Infected (which has fast become my favourite track from this release) has everything you could hope to get out of the album. The hammering drum work of Needles meets vocal lines that give me goosebumps. I seriously hope that this track makes the cut for a live set list. Melody is key here as it is for the rest of the record, and this track in particular just begs to be sung along with!
Much like Grave Times, this release also contains an acoustic driven ballad, this time entitled Five Minutes, which was penned following the loss of a loved one. You can feel the pain coming through the vocals, sombre and haunting. The sense of loss is thick in the air, and synths pierce the melancholia perfectly, delivering an overwhelming sense of heartbreak. There’s a sense that someone is gone, never to return; this to me doesn’t just mean death however, personally I can relate on different grounds – and I hope that everyone who listens to this track can take something personal from it.
Unlike Grave Times, the album doesn’t finish with a ballad. It finishes with a heavy-as-hell, thrash-charged number entitled No Place Like Home. It’s an atmospheric number that encapsulates and finishes this album perfectly, and the title means the polar opposite of what you think it would. Not that there is no place like home, but instead, you have no place that feels like home. Almost nomadic, if you will. I feel that it is a brilliant closing chapter of the album, for a band about to head out on some of the biggest tours of their life to date!
This is the next stage of evolution for a band who are intent on defying all expectations, and continue to deliver the best metal the UK has to offer. Daggers is an album that will see them gain worldwide recognition, and the chance to move onto bigger and better things.
The Defiled are a true force to be reckoned with. Hail!