Originally written for Valkyrian Music.
I don’t know if there’s any story behind the title of this album, but given the sharpness and edginess of its sound, “Daggers” fits like a glove.
The Defiled had made a stand with their debut “Grave Times” a couple of years ago – in terms of recordings, that is, as their live shows had put them on the spotlight since the very beginning, back in 2005 – and now “Daggers” is the fortifying of that stand. The formula is pretty much the same as before, but they intensified its ingredients, sounding darker, harder… stronger.
Take the first single (and also opening theme), “Sleeper”, for instance. Those epic, suspenseful keys that abruptly lead to a belligerent drum pattern and riffing, topped by angry vocals and punctuated by slower passages that eventually melt into a more melodic and somewhat catchy chorus… yep, that’s what I consider a strong, well-structured song.
The second single, “Unspoken”, this one entitled to a bit violent video, is aggressive without being exactly brutal or speedy. It’s shadowy, in the lack of a better word.
Now “Saints And Sinners”, on the other hand, IS the speedy kind. In fact, this is the fastest track in “Daggers”, new drummer Paul “Needles” White making a hell of a job. And therefore the breaks and the chorus cause a sharper impact due their contrast, which I believe turns the song richer.
Both “As I Drown” and “Infected” have a more easy-going rocky vibe, but still with that edgy, harsh touch that identifies them as The Defiled songs.
“New Approach” is a fierce metalcore track through and through. The synths are a little underneath here, almost as a background arrangement, but in my humble opinion it still has what it takes to be single-material. But I guess that a song like “The Mourning After” would please more the most hardcore fans of the band, as the industrial essence is enhanced, and there’s this pre-chorus where both the instruments and Stitch D’s voice go through a dragging effect.
The only song that hasn’t quite hit home yet is “Porcelain”, but it’s just a matter of taste. I know many will love the almost hypnotic and slow cranking of the guitars, but as far as “slow motion” goes, I’m more into real ballads, like the kind of thing they did in “Five Minutes”, with the acoustic strings and the piano.
And before you say that this stronger/clearer definition of their sound is a product of their new deal with Nuclear Blast, you should know that “Daggers” was ready to go way before they signed with the major label. Producer Jason Suecof may have a say in the final product, but the creation process is all The Defiled’s. So… way to go, boys!
Label: Nuclear Blast
Producer: Jason Suecof
- Saints And Sinners
- As I Drown
- New Approach
- Fragments Of Hope
- The Mourning After
- Five Minutes
- No Place Like Home
- Destroy What Destroys Me (digipack bonus track)
- Self Under Siege (digipack bonus track)