The Defaced- Anomaly

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Swedish metal scene has produced so many bands that it can often be hard to keep track, especially considering that most musicians are involved in numerous projects. The Defaced is one of the lesser known ones, and have been around since 1995. Their third full length album Anomaly is a cross between melodic death metal and mainstream thrash/hard rock, and while it does have its moments the songs just sound too similar to one another and this comes across as another decent but unimpressive release.

If there is one thing that really stands out about Anomaly, it’s that the album is very well produced. Every song features crisp and clear instrumentals that have just the right balance of intensity and this definitely fits the band’s style well. The best way to describe their overall sound is as a mix between traditional melodic death metal and thrash’s mainstream period (the time where thrash was starting to take on some hard rock influences in the form of mellower arrangements). It is sure to make The Defaced appeal to a fairly large audience as there are a lot of people out there who look this hard/light combination, but the main issue is that all of the riffs sound the same. Aside from a few interludes here and there the songs aren’t distinguishable and the entire effort blends together which just doesn’t quite cut it.

Although the vocals do offer a few harsh screams from time to time, for most of Anomaly they are focused almost entirely on clean vocals. Lead singer Jens Broman reminds me quite a bit of modern thrash/groove metal bands such as Byzantine as he has that combination of rough, aggressive singing and laid back melodic singing. It definitely has that mainstream tinge to it at times, but Broman is able to vary his pitch enough and hit low pitches which help The Defaced seem more like a legitimate metal band and less like another radio rock act. I would like to see him expand on some of the screams that appear on some of the songs though, as they do seem a bit stronger than the clean singing.

Anomaly has its moments and the vocals are sure to please quite a few listeners, but the instrumentals just don’t stand out and fall into repetition fairly quickly. If you’re a big melodic death metal/thrash fan you may be able to get some mileage out of The Defaced’s new album, but don’t expect it to be your new favorite. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt considering that the vocals are fairly strong, so hopefully next time they will be able to create riffs that are distinguishable from one another and make a better impression.

Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by Freeman Promotions

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