Defamer - _Chasm_
(Independent, 2009)
by: Alexandra Erickson (7 out of 10)
Only from the land founded by the toughest Imperial Britain had to offer, and where every living creature is either ravenous or poisonous, can metal exist that is as evil as that which Australia plays host to. Defamer, hailing from Brisbane, come out of the gate with fists clenched and faces scowling on their first full-length, _Chasm_. Running the gambit from an ambient instrumental opener, to crushingly slow chugging cuts, to lightning fast eardrum rupturing parts, there is a strikingly obvious mastery of their instruments.

If I throw the words 'brutal' and 'death metal' in a blender together, 99% of the time I'll hate the end product. A genre full of clones, Cannibal Corpse-worshipers, guys with no necks, obscene for the sake of being obscene band names, and testosterone dripping from the rafters -- that's what I associate with brutal death metal. With that being said, there is a brutality Defamer exhibit with precision and technical prowess that helps them rise above their brethren to be... well, better.

Guttural vocals that unapologetically trespass on almost blackened territories at times, displaying a range from the depths of Glenn Benton's annihilated chords to Nergal's throaty cries; Defamer vocalist Tim Smith should by all counts be the envy of every hopeful worldwide, and is one of the few deserving of the title "vokiller". With powerhouse drummer James "Geeks" Geekie sitting on the throne behind you, orchestrating the pulse of the band, you'd be hard pressed not to man up to the brutality.

I would have liked the strings to be showcased a little more than they were, but I suppose guitar solos aren't commonplace in any music where broken noses and bleeding faces are business as usual for fans. But for their song structure, both guitarists show an ability to wail and keep rhythm. The high whines and menacing chugging bring a cohesiveness, a fullness to the sound. Bassist Krist Sadler is only evidenced in an obvious way for a brief shining moment during the song "Chorus of Whispers", otherwise playing the oft typical role of drum-to-guitar liaison. But then again, I'm a huge sucker for bass solos when done well.

Defamer are, at least for me, brutal death metal for people who don't like brutal death metal. That isn't to say they won't appease the furious masses; no, quite the opposite. Their wingspan will probably cover even more of a fan base than they probably expected. Angry, annihilating, powerful, technical metal in, like I said earlier, a genre full of clones. They stand out head and shoulders above the rest, and while they will more than sate the unending hunger of the burgeoning death metal explosion, they should be able to tickle more than a few unsuspecting metal hellions' fancies. And rightfully so; with _Chasm_ as a debut, I'll put my money on them for making it big.


(article published 24/9/2009)

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