Defeater
Lost Ground


4.5
superb

Review

by GBJ USER (1 Reviews)
December 11th, 2009 | 723 replies | 62,163 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Defeater release a haunting, perfectly-executed concept album, reaffirming that this band is the real deal.

21 of 21 thought this review was well written

In 2008, Defeater released Travels, a concept album about a boy from a broken home who kills his alcoholic father and runs away, only to return to find his addicted mother dead and to kill his brother in a confrontation. Only a year later, the Boston hardcore band released the Lost Ground EP. The latter album chronicles the life of a World War II veteran, who after returning from the war in which he lost his entire battalion in a fire fight, is neglected and deprived by society, spiraling uncontrollably into alcoholism and hopelessness. That makes two extremely ambitious concept albums in less than two years, and my god – this band knows how to pull it off flawlessly.

Lyrically, Lost Ground is absolute genius. The outline of the album is six tracks, each with a written descriptive that narrates the circumstances preceding the respective songs. This technique creates an unmistakable effect of making the album flow seamlessly, and almost like a movie with narration preceding each scene (this effect is especially achievable if you follow along with the lyrics and the narrations while listening to the album from start to finish, which I HIGHLY recommend doing). The lyrics are written in unrefined broken diction reminiscent of the war era, and they are delivered raw, giving the album a timeless, emotional atmosphere.

That whiskey burns goin’ down. Old man pour me another round, because it’s my last night in town, and I ain’t thinkin’ of slowin’ down. No I am fixin’ to drow ‘til I see the sun, or I can’t see.

These lyrics begin the story, pre-deployment, with the track “The Red, White and Blues,” painting the picture of anxiety in an innocent youth about to go oversees. This is contrasted by the track “A Wound and a Scar” where he attends the funeral of his friends from his battalion:

Mothers mourn, holdin’ folded flags. Just caskets, and folded flags, no hope. Just folded flags. No Hope.

The juxtaposition of emotion is especially tangible in this album due to the lyrical desperation that clearly develops throughout the album. The term “empty grave” is recurring throughout the album, as is the term “war hero.” This repetition of common themes among the tracks strengthens the album lyrically, giving it a defined personality that is relatable.

What really separates Defeater from the rest of the hardcore crop is their ability to complement emotional lyrics with appropriate melody in a way that is natural and not contrived. The faster opener portrays the youth and innocence with a constant tempo and almost jubilant melody through the guitars. This is contrasted by the closing track, where the character finally finds hope in the “broken down” eyes of the bystanders who are listening to his story on the streets. This track is accompanied by a slow-tempo, and bleaker toned, sometimes bluesy guitar lines.

The instrumentation is very articulate throughout the album, and the rhythm section perfectly accompanies the harsh yells of the vocalist. As for the vocalist, his pain-stricken vocals are almost haunting in that they portray the voice of the character almost too well. The emotion and anger in his voice deliver the lyrics like a punch in the chest, and it works wonders for the story.

All in all, this is a concept album executed perfectly. It is about the second world war, but the story is timeless and vivid, imitating the present. There are obvious strong anti-war sentiments, especially in the heart-breaking lyrics from the “A Wound and a Scar”:

Did you ever hear that coffin sound? It means another poor boy is in the ground. Have you ever heard them church bells toll? It means another poor boy is dead and gone.

Defeater are 2 for 2 so far, which is commendable especially for a band that seemed to have come out of nowhere to release two concept albums that are captivating, and neither overbearing or outrageous. The story in Lost Ground is both haunting and emotional. Never before had I wanted to weep like a baby while listening to a hardcore album. This album is a must-listen.


user ratings (956)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
ToddDay (4.5)
All in all, I think this album is a classic and should be a part of every melodic-hardcore fan’s c...

Jeremy Bentham (4)
One of the greatest EP's in recent years, Lost Ground is truly a remarkable piece of work and gives ...

Wayne H. (4.5)
Defeater craft an emotionally jarring hardcore album for the modern age....


Comments:Add a Comment 
GBJ
December 11th 2009



495 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Lyrics are available on the band's myspace www.myspace.com/defeater.

SpritzSpritz
December 12th 2009



525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

band rules. this is one of the best heavy releases this year. I still prefer travels though.

Transient
December 12th 2009



1461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah this kicks ass

YouAreMySilence
December 12th 2009



3727 Comments


A sweet ep.. if you like hardcore you can't not like this band.

burnafterbreeding
December 12th 2009



1466 Comments


Review made me listen to album made me like it made me say thanks reviewer made me compliment your writing skills.

Kiran
Emeritus
December 12th 2009



6000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

travels rules so i'll probably get this

concept EP seems a bit ambitious though, or is it more of just a common theme than an actual story?

Digging: Spoon - They Want My Soul

SmurkinGherkin
December 12th 2009



1769 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

will get this

GBJ
December 12th 2009



495 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

No, this is an actual story

RunAmokRampant
December 25th 2009



228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Incredible.

JaKThaRiPp3r
December 29th 2009



1 Comments


LiKin It

landonius
January 11th 2010



70 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Saw them live, it was flawless

PanasonicYouth
January 12th 2010



7411 Comments


i'm like on my fifth listen of this in a row. ugh so good

Knott-
Emeritus
January 21st 2010



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

shit this is ridICulously good

fromtheinside
January 21st 2010



17714 Comments


'Travels' was fantastic so i'll keep my eye out for this.

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

PanasonicYouth
January 21st 2010



7411 Comments


RIDICULOUSLY GOOD

Xenophanes
Emeritus
January 26th 2010



10585 Comments


great review, ive aquired both so ill be listening, in anyone's opinion, which is better?

Digging: United Nations - The Next Four Years

Captain North
January 26th 2010



6779 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Tough choice, admittedly I've only heard them once each but I'd go with this one I think.

EDIT: Actually, no. Listened through again, Travels is better.

Transient
January 28th 2010



1461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this band is going to release a 'witness' soon

SlightlyEpic
January 28th 2010



5780 Comments


UGH WHY WOULD YOU JINX THEM LIKE THAT UGHSFHSDFJ

botb
January 28th 2010



9539 Comments


band is so good



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