THE DEFILED — Grave Times (review)

THE DEFILED — Grave Times album cover Album · 2011 · Metalcore Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
The Defiled are a London based Metalcore band. 2011′s Grave Times was the band’s first full-length studio album and followed up thier 2009 EP entitled ’1888.’ You can expect to hear lots of breakdowns, clean choruses and the occasional guitar lead breaking up the main riffs, which are generally heavy and upper-mid-tempo, with a flat and compressed tone.

The music scene is full of thousands of bands making this type of music and every one needs a unique selling point to get ahead. The Defiled separate themselves from the crowd in a number of ways. Firstly with the incorporation of electronics and atmosphere’s somewhere between the Rhys Fulber in Fear Factory level of incorporation and Chris Spicuzza of Chimaira’s more subtle style.

Secondly in the vocal department. There are several types of clean vocals that are very common to this type of music, but amazingly among the varied vocal styles on offer on this album the vast majority are pretty uncommon in Metalcore. This helps the band have a unique identity in an overcrowded scene.

Finally, and perhaps least importantly, with their image which seems to attract complaints from the more judgmental metal elitists. I am not personally a fan of ‘guyliner’ or big hair myself either, but it really shouldn’t be taken into consideration when judging what the music sounds like. The music would sound the same no matter how the band were dressed after all.

The Deflied are good at what they do and if you like the genre you will find them a worthy addition to your collection, however if you generally dislike this musical style I cant honestly foresee them being the band to win you over. Their individuality may be apparent to the Metalcore connoisseur, but to fresh ears there isn’t exactly a colossal difference in formula. There are enough bouncy riffs, interesting double-kick patterns and varieties of vocal styles to keep my interest up for the album’s 51 minutes however, with no tracks seemingly particularly throw-away or unnecessary and that in itself is a mark of quality.

Interestingly, The Defiled have learned a lot of lesson’s from some of the best Nu Metal bands, (and I know that has become a faux pas with certain Metal fans) and if you listen to the guitar tone carefully, at times you will hear both specific musical notes and a specific production sound that was very popular between ‘99 and ’02 which is actually rather refreshing in combination with musical elements peculiar to Metalcore.

Standout tracks include ‘Black Death’ which has a few unique ideas and ‘Metropolis’ which is perhaps the stompiest and most Pantera inspired track on the album. The definite highlight for me however, is closing track ‘Final Sleep,’ which has a much more contemplative feel, ending the album on an unexpectedly somber note.

To summarise; The Defiled are not the most original band in the world but what they do, they do well and have enough distinct musical personality to keep this album from feeling like just another Metalcore album, and should prove enjoyable unless you just outright hate Metalcore to begin with.
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