DEFIANCE — Void Terra Firma (review)

DEFIANCE — Void Terra Firma album cover Album · 1990 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
"Void Terra Firma" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, Oakland, California based thrash metal act Defiance. The album was released through Roadracer Records in March 1990. Defiance were formed in 1985 and released a couple of demos before releasing their debut full-length studio album "Product of Society (1989)". There´s been one lineup change since the debut as lead vocalist Ken Elkinton has been replaced by Steev Esquivel.

Steev Esquivel makes an instant impact as he is a much more powerful and raw sounding vocalist than Ken Elkinton. At times he reminds me of Chuck Billy from Testament, although Esquivel is generally a bit more one-dimensional in his delivery. Stylistically the music on "Void Terra Firma" isn´t completely unlike the early releases by Testament either (generally a bit more raw and direct though, and not nearly as sophisticated). The band are well playing and you´ll be treated to fast-paced thrashy riffing (Some well played guitar solos too), powerful and relatively varied drumming, and the above mentioned vocals by Steev Esquivel, which suit the music well.

The material is overall well written and relatively catchy, although there´s little here, which is memorable beyond the playing time of the album. Defiance has opted to include a cover of "Killers" by Iron Maiden, and while it´s a welcome breather between their original tracks, it´s not an exceptional cover. It´s just pretty decent like the rest of the material. While the quality of the material is consistent and there aren´t many standout tracks, I´d still mention the opening title track and "Slayground" as some of the more memorable tracks. The latter because of the rhythms played on that track (great drum intro).

While the music is overall relatively effective on "Void Terra Firma" and fans of US, Bay Area thrash metal should find this a decent listen, the sound production is unfortunately a bit thin sounding. And that goes for both the drum and the rhythm guitar sounds. With a more powerful sound production the music would have had a better chance to shine. As it is now a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is fair.
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