Let me introduce you to this band called ®Defiance®, this band emerged in the Bay-Area along with other more successful bands as ®Testament® and ®Exodus®. The band was created in 1985 and they released their first album in 1989, one year later they released this album called ®Void Terra Firma® which is considered to be their most successful work at the time when metal was a popular all around the world. The band plays of course thrash-metal, their style is heavy and aggressive and it sounds like the band has a bit ®Testament® influences in their material actually. The band has made three albums and they disbanded right after the third, the band has been reunited and will eventually release a new album in the end of the year 2006.
The band is a group of five members, the vocalist in this band is named Steev Esquivel. His vocals reminds a little about Chuck Billy's 'newer' vocals (singer of Testament9), Steev's vocals are quite dark and evil but I think that many people would think that this is a bad singing voice. It takes some time to get used to this kind of vocals, I think that these vocals are quite alright but they are not better than good. Doug Harrington and Jim Adams is the two guitar players in this band, the guitars on this album feels a bit to overdone, the guitars is a bit to loud and they overshadow almost even the vocals. But the guitar work is quite good, the rhythm sections are strong and sturdy, the lead work is also very good but the guitar soloing is not that impressive. The riffing is more like basic thrash-metal riffing and that will say fast but yet catchy in some songs. Mike Kaufmann is the bassist of this band, and this is the same old description, the bass is barely heard on this album because it is just playing the rhythm section. There are no type of solos or fillings in the songs just plain rhythm and as I said before, the guitars is to loud and it makes the bass to fade away. The drumming is done by Matt Vander Ende, this is basic thrash-drums, sometimes very fast and sometimes a bit slower with a catchier pattern.
The album starts with the title track ®Void Terra Firma®, the song begins with some fast drumrolls and later the souring guitars enters and plays some slow shredds. The song increases in pace and gets very thrashy, the drums increases in pace and the riffing becomes more complex and faster. The song is quite heavy and slightly catchy, a good headbanging song but not a highlight. ®Deception Of Faith® starts with some mystic acoustics but the are very short and the song begins quite fast. The song is quite heavy and has some very good shredds and riffs, the song gets a bit heavier and the guitar solo here is great, one of the best songs in this album. ®Questions® starts with some heavy drumbeats and along with the beats there are some guitar notes that sounds a bit heroic. The guitars delivers more heavy riffs along with some classic thrash-drumming. The song is catchy in the verse but the chorus is not so good where Steev delivers some screams. ®Skitz-Illsions® goes out heavy with ferosious shredding and drumming, the song is very heavy and you just want to headbang along with the song. Basically everything is catchy,the drum work is great and the shredding is catchy. ®Slayground® also starts very heavy with maniac drumming and solid riffing, the tempo is high and the song structure is easy to endure. The vocals are quite overshadowed by the instruments though.
We continue with a cover song from the world-wide known ®Iron Maiden®. The song is known as ®Killers®, starts with some high-hat tapping along with some fast bass playing and on top of that some heavy guitar chords. The song is fast and there is alot of triplet riffing, the song is catchy and it is a quite good cover. ®Steamroller® is one of my favorite tracks, it starts with some crazy riffing and moderated drumming, the song is a bit slow in the beginning but it gets more structure as time goes by. Steev is using some 'forced' screams time to me that sounds pretty good, the song gets very heavy when the first hlaf of the song is played. ®Checkmate® has some heavy riff and acoustic guitars as intro part, the song gets more speed and gets quite heavy. The song is not so catchy and it sounds a bit similar to the previous tracks, the riffing reminds also about ®Metallica's® riffing in their fourth album. ®Buried Or Burned® enters with fast drumming and fast riffing, this song sounds pretty much like typical 80's thrash. The song has basically the same pattern throughout the whole song but it slows done a bit after one minute or more, not at very catchy song though. The last track is ®Last Resort (welcome to poverty)®, this song ahs also a quite heavy intro with heavy beats and shredding guitars. The song has great drum patterns and catchy guitar work, also one my favorite songs.The guitar solos reminds you about ®Exodus® type of solosing but that is jsut the two first solos, there is also double solos near the end that sounds very good.
Well folks that was all I could come up with. This album didn't sound so special to me, now that I have heard so many types of thrash-metal and thrash bands I would say that this sounds like basic thrash but with a slower pace. The thing that annoyed me was the loud guitars, they were overwhelming the other members performances and it becamed pretty boring and the songs didn't have any special uniqness in them that made them interesting. I could recommend this album to thrash-metal fans who wants to look for something new brand of thrash. I hope that this wasen't to boring to read and I hope that my review was to any help.
+ Good and aggressive vocals
+ The guitar work is pretty thick and solid
+ This kind of thrash would be easy to endure for new listeners
- The guitars are good but they are to overwhelming
- The vocals sounds low compared in comparison to the other band members
- The songs has not a good variation in them, the patterns feels similar to each other
-- Last Resort (welcome to poverty)
-- Deception Of Faith
Overall album raing will be: 3/5