Seems like Britain isn’t quite done churning out big -core bands yet. Bullet for my Valentine (BFMV), Asking Alexandria (AA), and now The Defiled. Daggers is the band’s second full-length album and I would imagine it’s going to be quite popular among fans of the previously mentioned bands. With Daggers, The Defiled seem poised to grab the spotlight away from them and claim it their own.
I’ll admit it – The Defiled is a band that, if I just judged them by the way they look, I would immediately make fun of and dismiss. Luckily I didn’t do that until after I listened to Daggers, because it’s actually quite good. There’s a reason why I mentioned both BFMV and AA in the beginning of this review; its because The Defiled sit somewhere in the middle of the two sound wise. Daggers is a mix of metalcore with electronic and industrial influences – I would hesitate to just call it an industrial album, because that’s never really the main focus in any of the songs. They manage to mix it all together rather well though; it rarely feels forced. Daggers is littered with catchy riffs and hooks – these guys are talented songwriters, that’s for sure. When things do go off the rails, they seem to reel it in fairly quickly – there’s not many instances that leave you going “What the fuck were they thinking when they did this?” which is always a good thing.
Really, the thing that impressed me the most is how well they mixed everything together. Industrial-tinged baselines often accent the guitars and drums in such a way that it adds to the experience rather than detract from it. Good job guys – that’s not something every band can claim. Songs like “Unspoken” and “Saints and Sinners” really benefit from the added layer of sounds – they would probably sound a little “thin” and unsatisfying without them. Daggers is an album where the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts; areas of The Defiled‘s music that aren’t exactly stellar are masked and/or lifted up by the ones that are. For example, the clean vocals sound rather flat and robotic on Daggers while the drumming is mediocre and uninteresting most of the time. The ample amount of catchy riffs, great songwriting, and good production make up for most of these pitfalls though.
If you’ve made it this far into the review, I know what you’re thinking. Yes, I was rather surprised that I enjoyed Daggers as much as I did also. I guess it just goes to show you that sometimes if you put you’re pre-conceived notions away for a bit, you might find something that you’ll be able to enjoy.
Now if you excuse me, I’m going to listen to some Misery Index in an attempt to wash away the guilt.