Review 1695 : Defiled – The Highest Level – English

Defiled, Japanese Death Metal veteran, announces a new album.

Formed in 1992 in Tokyo, the band led by Yusuke Sumita (guitar) and completed by Keisuke Hamada (drums, ex-Chernoblank), Shinichiro Hamada (guitar/vocals, ex-Chernoblank) and Takachika Nakajima (bass, Coven Japan) is releasing in 2023 Highest Level, its seventh album, on Season of Mist.

The album starts with Off-Limits, a very solid Old School track which lets the band place effective and jerky riffs under raw vocal parts. We also have some very catchy parts, just like on Stealth and its crushing rhythm punctuated by energy bursts. The band lets its motivating patterns energize the composition before The Highest Level, the eponymous track, comes to crush us with some epic leads followed by a fast rhythmic. A dissonant solo is also added to the dark basis, as well as ominous harmonics, and then Entrapped returns to aggressive and convulsive riffs, letting Death Metal roots shine through. Vocal parts are also chopped, just like on The Status Quo, a rather short track offering a very raw approach by playing on many rhythm changes to surprise, then Warmonger will come to place heavy tonalities complementing quite well the impressive screams. We can also notice this groovy bass before Demonization goes back to pure and hard speed, interspersed with surprising breaks followed by Inquisition and its dark tones, which embellish an explosive Death/Thrash basis. The band continues its adventure in violence with Madness Accelerated and its blast sometimes borrowing from Hardcore its most motivating sounds, then with Only The Strongest Survive which will add dissonant and screaming tones to a simple but solid basis, where choirs sometimes help main vocals. Delusion, the next track, will let the rhythm section offer aggressive elements interspersed with guitar interventions, then the band develops epic parts with The Last Straw, without forgetting its aggressive Death Metal roots. We’ll also have some heady leads, followed by Red World, a martial track which immediately invites to headbanging, then The Requiem, which borrows from Death/Doom its haunting and heavy atmosphere before exploding at the end, letting The Speech, a scary sample, close the album.

Defiled always had its own touch, which the band skillfully mixes with raw Death Metal, creating jerky tracks we can almost instantly recognize. The Highest Level will surprise, but it will also leave its mark.


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