DEFACE
Death Metal • Germany

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DEFACE was an underground German melodic/progressive death metal act. They were formed in 1993 and released 2 demos before they disbanded in 1997. Both demos are now available for free legal download from the band's website.

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.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Silent Coldness
Death Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
The Temple of Truth
Death Metal 1996

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DEFACE Reviews

DEFACE The Temple of Truth

Demo · 1996 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
J-Man
Focus of the Death

After their promising, albeit severely flawed, debut demo in 1995, Deface released a follow-up demo in 1996. The Temple of Truth shows the band in an improved state from many aspects, but as a whole, both demos are about equal in terms of quality. This would end up being the final release from Deface, seeing that they disbanded in 1997 and have been silent ever since. Whereas Silent Coldness was a pretty straightforward melodic death metal release, The Temple of Truth is a much more progressive effort that showcases many mood changes and much more riff variation. It's pretty frustrating that this would be the last effort by Deface - they were really onto something great here. I'm sure that if they ended up releasing a full-length album, I would've been very impressed. Like the previous effort, The Temple of Truth is a very promising release that's marred by a few crippling flaws. Still, it's a warm recommendation to progressive/melodic death metal fans that are okay with a muddy production and occasionally sloppy musicianship.

Although Deface is still firmly rooted in the early melodic death metal scene, this time around they've incorporated some more subtle progressive influences. It seems like they took a few listens to Orchid by Opeth or Purgatory Afterglow by Edge of Sanity before working on this demo, and this newly refined sound ultimately enhances Deface's music. The end result is a slightly better demo than Silent Coldness, but not by a significant amount. If anything, The Temple of Truth has more issues than the previous demo, but the improvement in the songwriting department gives it a small edge. Songs like "Deep Breath Pad (Intro) & Focus of the Death", "Across the Addiction", and "In The Temple of Truth" are stellar highlights, and although the rest of the album isn't quite as good, Deface have really improved their compositional strength since their last demo. Like its predecessor, my biggest complaints result in the sloppy playing and muddy production. Surprisingly enough, the production on The Temple of Truth is actually significantly worse than it was on their debut. Although the production was a setback on Silent Coldness, it's sometimes unbearable here. The musicians in Deface are unquestionably talented, but they still don't sound quite as tight and precise as they should. It's not a huge complaint though, and it's evident that Deface have improved in this area as well.

Conclusion:

The Temple of Truth is a slight improvement over its predecessor, though it still has some major issues to deal with. I have a feeling that if Deface would've been around for a few more years, they could've created something truly excellent. Fans of melodic death metal with progressive touches should check this (and their previous demo) out, considering that Deface has them both available for free legal download from their website. This isn't anything outstanding, but it's a satisfying release that should please fans of the genre. Although this is a bit better than Silent Coldness, it still deserves the same score of a 2.5 (almost 3 in this case). Deface really had something special - unfortunately, we'll never know what they would've sounded like with a professional production and a full-length album. This band has been forgotten with the sands of time, but they did create two good demos that I've enjoyed experiencing.

DEFACE Silent Coldness

Demo · 1995 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
J-Man
From the Womb

Like so many unknown death metal acts from the 90's, Germany's Deface released a couple of demos and then disappeared into oblivion. Their first demo, 1995's Silent Coldness, is a very promising, if flawed, debut. This suffers from tons of (ultimately crippling) setbacks, such as a weak production, sloppy musicianship, and mediocre compositions, but underneath all of the blemishes is a young band with an adventurous and admirable attitude. Unfortunately, their second (and final) demo isn't much better, so it's impossible to say if my predictions for a promising future would've come true or not. As it stands, Silent Coldness is a good demo that is marred by quite a few imperfections. People who enjoy melodic death metal that isn't filled with keyboard orchestrations and wimpy riffing will definitely want to give this forgotten demo a shot - I'm glad I did.

Silent Coldness is a mixture of bands like early-In Flames or Edge of Sanity. It's clear that Deface takes a lot of influence from the early Swedish melodeath scene, which was never too common among German extreme metal bands. Silent Coldness is just under the 24 minute mark, which is a pretty great length for a demo. It's not ridiculously short, nor does it drag on longer than it needs to. The first song, "Silent Coldness- ...And It's Autumn", is the best composition here by a long-shot. This is actually an excellent melodic death metal track - it's quite unfortunate that the rest of the demo doesn't quite live up to the expectations set here. The other 3 songs aren't nearly as memorable, although still somewhat competent. The biggest issues lie in the sloppy musicianship and poor production. Although it's clear that Deface is a talented band, the playing is not nearly as tight and precise as it needs to be. Something like this could've easily been solved by a few more takes or overdubs. A more expected issue is the production, which, like most 90's demos, is pretty muddy. It's far from the worst demo-quality production out there, but it's still a bit of an issue.

Conclusion:

Although Silent Coldness is a very flawed debut demo, something about it is irresistible and charming. I had a great time listening to this demo despite its setbacks, and I'd recommend that fans of early melodic death metal give this a shot. It's not essential or anything like that, but this shows what a promising act Deface were back in the 90's. Unfortunately, Deface never did live up to the promise they showed on Silent Coldness, as they would disband in a mere two years. Although this demo has its strengths, the most I can give is 2.5 stars due to the muddy production, unpolished musicianship, and occasionally unremarkable compositions.

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