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Victorian-themed intro of church bells, horses' hooves and a knife being drawn, culminating in a horror movie climax of slashing sound effects, blood-splatters and screaming, open up '1888' then you're thrown into pounding brain-deadening beat, and bristling with demonic howls and throat-shredding screeching, 1888 is intense, bloodthirsty metal.
'1888' is a ferocious beast and then some! From the sinister sample that opens first track 'The Resurrectionists' to the last notes of album closer 'Red Tape' this is an album that firmly nails its colours to the mast. Thunderous drumming, angry vocals combined work throughout with soaring choruses, monstrous guitars and bassline grooves so heavy that they might as well have been carved out of concrete. This is industrial metal, sure, but as you imagine Korn might have tackled it in their heyday, or what Pantera might have sounded like had they been invited to appear on the 'Queen Of The Damned' soundtrack. The Defiled Band Page www.myspace.com/thedefiled
London Quintet Expose Brit-Metal's Dark Underbelly
The Defiled's meld of industrial, Marilyn Manson-esque swagger with a more serrated hardcore edge has seen them become lauded as one of the UK's most aggressively vital new live bands. Although this five track EP is more likely to keep appetites whetted for the inevitable long-player than satiate them outright, this is still a tasty morsel of what this band have to offer. Dealing exclusively in a vicious-verse / big chorus songwriting format, the short running time is more blast than whimper. It's also a welcome opportunity to explore thse tracks away from a gig without a maelstorm of mosh exploding around you! And what you discover is a band with more witty lyrical nous and thematic depth than their energetic stage presence would suggest.
Metal Hammer 8/10
If Bullet For My Valentine were a little more inventive, then they too could sound like The Defiled. They've that same metalcore fire as BFMV, but with touches of electro influence. The title track is typical; it mixes blastbeats with dynamic guitars nd rasping vocals, and has a chorus that's addictive enough to be dangerous. It's the consistency on this five-tracker that's impressive. The song 1888 is matched by eerie and malevolent opener The Ressurrectionists, while climatic closer Red Tape is vicious, ending with a piano part that brings to mind the most spine-tingling ghost stories. The Defiled have taken the metalcore basics, added Marilyn Manson sneer and a Deathstar attitude, plus their own taste for the macabre.
Sonic blast of unbridled fury... the saviours of UK alternative metal
Thrash Hits 5.5/6
Opening with church bells and horses' hooves, 'The Resurrectionists' breaks the uneasy peace with the sound of a swooshing blade and chilling scream. 1888 opens with a clear message: The Defiled are here and they want to see some blood. The stabs of guitars are as thick as iron girders, but with a razor-crisp edge. The electronic additions courtesy of keyboardist The AvD don't overpower the boisterous guitars, but instead lurk beside and behind them, giving the tracks some grim atmospherics. The whole thing howls with the kind of grit and crunch of a skull popping under the wheel of a steamroller.
The London 5-piece have taken the monstrous heft of White Zombie and nailgunned it to huge, violent slabs of industrial guitar-concrete. By the time the EP reaches its mid-point with the title track, you'll find yourself involuntarily ducking from the tail-off riff that shudders down like a hail of bullets. Even when the record eases off the petrol fumes as it does with the stuttering guitars in 'Permanent Reminder' the alternating clean/gruff vocal hooks of frontman Stitch D keep it spittle-flecked and furious.
With 'Red Tape' the EP closes in suitably chaotic fashion; the downtuned juggernaut-thrash of the verse handbrakes into a melodic chorus, only for the song to climax in a thudding, thunderous breakdown-beyond-a-breakdown. Close your eyes and you can see the band smashing their instruments and howling their last ebbs of energy at a shell-shocked crowd. Fuck it; if you?ve seen The Defiled play live recently, you won?t have to imagine that, you can just remember it.
There's too many young UK bands lurking around the support act level, punch drunk on their levels of micro-success, yet still desperate to cling on to some meaningless concept of their 'underground cred'. This dedication to maintaining this - wrongfully imagined prerequisite of acceptance is all too often at the expensive of ever progressing as a band. That doesn't even seem to be a even a vague consideration for this lot.
The Defiled want more than to be just the eternal warm-up act for whichever mob of Scandanavian bruisers or post-Pantera American riff-mongers that happen to be passing through the UK in search of someone to take the early slot. While all too many British upstarts concern themselves with secondhand hardcore, regressive death metal or flaccidly-reaslised metalcore moshdowns, with 1888, The Defiled seem to have tattoo'd an audio manifesto entirely of their own making. And they're coming for you.