Review Summary: Channeling the powers of Frankie Palmeri this time around, Defiler shows they still cannot be taken seriously.
“I wanna see you cry, bitch!” will be the first thing someone will say to you if you mention Defiler. The music video became a sort of meme and representation of everything that was wrong with the music Defiler played. The song Cryomancer was part of Defiler's debut album, Pangaea. Nematocera, while also being a suborder of elongated flies with thin, segmented antennae and mostly aquatic larvae, consisting of the mosquitoes, crane flies, gnats, and midges, it is also the name of Defiler's newest release.
Nematocera really lacks any kind of dynamic. But are you at all surprised? Defiler offers the person no reason to give Nematocera an engaged listen. They make no real attempts to differentiate themselves form their musical peers like Emmure, Whitechapel, Acacia Strain, and all the bands of that ilk. I’m not asking them to reinvent the wheel either, but I am asking them to do atleast something different here. A number of songs in Nematocera are just a record scratch away from being the B-side to the new Slipknot album. The opener, Lucky 36 uses synth that sounds eerily similar to a few Iowa-era tracks. Walk In The Glow is the song that is most reminiscent of Slipknot. Beginning with a questionable electronic drum piece, the eyebrow piercing clad vocalist seems to try and be a harsh Corey Taylor. The vocalist could shine above the standards this album has set for itself if it wasn't for the obnoxious production edits and the needless layering of the his vocals. It's confusing and generally frustrating to have the vocals become drowned out with unnecessary distortion. The songwriting should have stood without the editing in order for the listener to fully enjoy Nematocera.
Some aspects of the album are occasionally executed well, especially the percussion. Defiler actually went the right way and got a new drummer. The drummer this time around is way above average for the genre. In the song Subway, he plays some great fills and rolls and adds some energy to the song. But aside from some shows of competency, the drummer tends to play off tempo. The guitarists play completely uninspiring riffs, the bass is inaudible, and the lyrical writing consists of outlandish lyrics that create the album's “nihilistic” themes. Almost all the songs are forgettable. The band makes a few attempts at melody in their songs, but they seem more obligatory than natural, such as in Metamora or the entire closing track. They always feel they were placed there for no reason other than to attempt to give the album depth. It is as if you can imagine the band saying, “This part is really generic, lets add in a melodic part!”
Nematocera is a disappointment because instead of utilizing the artistic capability of this band, they create another depth-less release. What's even more disappointing is the presence of Emmure's Frankie Palmeri, who is the antithesis of creativity. This release could have been their way of getting rid of their reputation as the band that made Cryomancer, but they are unable to do that with Nematocera. So, like most insects in the Nematocera family, this annoying bug should be squashed if you find it flying anywhere near you.