Album Review: Defiled - Infinite Regress
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings
The Land of the Rising Sun worships many bands. The adulation poured on the melodic rock of Cheap Trick, Michael Schenker and hundreds of similar outfits has always been a mystery to me. Their scene has continued to develop and there are now hundreds of different genres. The country that brought us Baby Metal has however, also grasped the mantle of the extreme.
Death metal veterans Defiled formed in 1992 and climbed to the top of Asia's death metal scene with the release of their self-financed EP Defeat of Sanity in 1994. Infinite Regress is their latest album, coming almost four years after 2016’s Towards Inevitable Ruin. It’s a crazy, whirlwind ride with a kaleidoscope of styles, all colliding at breakneck speed. Bookended by an intro and outro which don’t add substantially to the album, it’s the frantic opening of Divide and Conquer where the real interesting stuff starts. Artillery style programmed drumming and shrieking jagged guitar work are delivered to irregular but frequent time changes along with typically gruff growling death vocals. It’s short at 2:30 and insanely wild.
Tragedy follows, the longest track on the album and follows a slightly more conventional approach in parts although there remains an interesting staccato style, the frenzy of chaotic technical elements showing no sign of slowing. It’s so crazily unstructured that it often sounds like the mix hasn’t quite aligned. Signs of more traditional death metal styles surface on occasion, such as the brutalising Systematic Decomposition and the pulverising So Blind, but for much of the time there is little cohesion, albeit substantial speed and ferocity.
Apart from Tragedy, only two songs clocks in at over three minutes and Aftermath makes it across the line by a mere two seconds! Everything is a furious rage, the angular time changes proving challenging at times whilst the reliance on unmeasurable blast beats is repetitive at times. But there is also something to enjoy here. Legacy is a smash to the face with an upbeat tempo. Although the songs are short, you’d be grateful for that in the live arena as I bet watching this lot live is a punishing endurance event (Quick 1980s TV reference there for you older readers).
The final couple of tracks maintain the astonishing pace but are the best songs on this release. Slaverobot is more standard death metal fare but hooks and drives hard, whilst the title track is a grinding technical battery which concludes one runaway ride in relentless style. If you are in mainland Europe in March, these guys are providing the main support to Polish titans Vader. Now that’s a statement.
Infinite Regress arrives on 24th January via Season of Mist and is well worth a listen.