Deströyer 666 - Defiance
Season Of Mist
Blackened Death/Thrash
9 songs (41:27)
Release year: 2009
Deströyer 666, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Charles
Six years after the Terror Abraxas EP, and seven after the last full-length, Cold Steel for an Iron Age, underground heroes Deströyer 666 return with what must be one of extreme metal’s most anticipated releases for some time.

Those familiar with the band shouldn’t need too much description of the sound. It picks up where their previous records left off, although concentrating more on the cold steel of, er, Cold Steel…, than on the fist-pumping shoutalongs of Terror Abraxas. Another useful reference point is, of course, the recent, fantastic Razor of Occam album, which showcased a very similar sound (they share various band members); fiery extreme metal that sits scornfully between the worlds of death, black and thrash, of all and none at once. If anything, Defiance is more densely-packed than that. The sound is extremely weighty with a frequent use of death metal tremolo blasting, making it perhaps heavier than in the past. So, something which seems slightly new to me is The Path to Conflict, which is a monstrous rumble that could be a doom metal construction were it not for the input of a haywire percussive onslaught that makes everything seem blazingly fast.

Aside from these relatively minor power-ups, it is business as usual, and fans of the band are hardly likely to be complaining about that. There are points where this is utterly immense. As The Barricades are Breaking kicks off, you are suitably overpowered by a barbarian horde of maniacal lead guitar bannerwavers and pounding black metal siege engines. Mersus’ drumming is cut loose to reap clattering, spectacular havoc among the onslaught. The centrepiece, A Stand Defiant, is the tune that will have introduced the attentive to this record via their myspace page, and it remains probably the strongest here. Very obviously geared towards anthem status with its hellraising barked vocals that get the blood pumping, it’s also an instrumental masterpiece, with electrifying lead guitar formations skipping around raging death riffs.

There’s not too much point trying to rank this alongside the rest of their discography. It is safe to say that it hits a similar level as previous output, and listeners will no doubt formulate their own favourites on a subjective basis. Perhaps it simply remains to pick out some final highlights. A Thousand Plagues is great, and perhaps the track here that is closest in spirit to Razor of Occam’s Homage to Martyrs; cackling riffs here pick out melodies that are more distinct than usual, and which draw you into an extreme metal gem that has irresistible emotional drama at its heart. Human, All Too Human slows everything down with a militaristic fanfare which is ominous and powerful. Whatever, this is an excellent record; something you will no doubt be unsurprised to hear.

Killing Songs :
A Stand Defiant, A Thousand Plagues, Human, All Too Human
Charles quoted 89 / 100
Other albums by Deströyer 666 that we have reviewed:
Deströyer 666 - Cold Steel for an Iron Age reviewed by Charles and quoted 90 / 100
Deströyer 666 - Phoenix Rising reviewed by Crims and quoted 90 / 100
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