posted on 8/2009 By:
Record companies, who needs ‘em? Defamer, apparently does not. Chasm is the self-released debut from this Australian death metal quintet, and it is a crusher. In the spectrum of Australian death metal, Defamer falls somewhere in the middle between the rudimentary rumblings of Cauldron Black Ram and the dazzling intricacies of Psycroptic. While the band’s thick, ominous sound strongly recalls the former, the adventurous arrangements and occasional flourishes of technicality reveal shades of the latter. In truth, though, Defamer owes more to the leaden grooves of American heavyweights like Incantation and Immolation than it does to any of its country mates. The band's sound is rooted firmly in the old school, featuring all the techniques that have been genre mainstays for nigh-on two decades: chugging riffs, tremolo picking, harmonic squeals, etc. For long time death metal fans, Chasm will sound comfortingly familiar. In lieu of any sort of innovation, Defamer instead brings a truck load of killer riffs to the proceedings; a more than equitable trade in my book.
Defamer manages to pack a great number of memorable moments into fairly compact, concise songs, the majority of which are under five minutes. Every song is prime death metal so choosing highlights is difficult, but some particularly notable tracks include: “The Black Obscene”, which features a devastating melodic midsection, the five minutes of trudging evil that is “Of The Chasm” and the frantic and aptly named “Maelstrom”.
Despite being a self released album, the production on Chasm is perfectly professional sounding, yet refreshingly devoid of modern over-processing. The guitars sound is warm and massively heavy and the drums retain a loose, natural feel.
Defamer has delivered quite an impressive debut with Chasm. The effort should garner plenty of interest from labels, although, truthfully the band seems to be doing fine on its own. In any case, I look forward to hearing more from this band, but there is no hurry as there is enough quality death metal on Chasm to keep me listening for quite some time. This album is recommended for those who like their death metal good and heavy.
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