Defiler – Nematocera – Review

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Thinking back a bit, it hit me that youthful bands always seem to bring their most aggressive outings out within their first two releases. This time seems no different with the Northern Cali, “life-core” (stupid title) four piece, Defiler. Gaining fans and momentum with the help of solid institutions such as Youtube, Metal compilations (“Mayhem Hatewear”), and having veterans like Hatebreed‘s Jamey Jasta reissue your debut album (“Pangaea”) probably doesn’t hurt either, this inexperienced band has rode the wave up to the most important band milestone, the sophomore album; which is interestingly titled “Nematocera.”

The first thing you must do before you listen to Defiler is to forget about how old young this deathcore act is. If you start down the path of “has there lead singer Jake Pelzl even grown a single strand of facial hair yet” or “is it wrong for me to ask if they have biology homework tonight?,” then you will never be able to take an honest stab at their music. The band’s previous efforts were pumped from the same band vein as groups like Iwrestledabearonce, Despised Icon, and Asteria, but with “Nematocera” the band has undertaken a more tense deathcore direction; closely resembling Emmure, Suicide Silence, and Chelsea Grin. This is more than just a coincidence, as producer Chris “Zeuss” Harris (Suicide Silence, Chelsea Grin, The Acacia Strain) is pulling all of the strings for this full-length.

The result is an effort that is every bit as heavy and colossally agile as the genre will allow without being overrun by blast-beasts, but also one that is a bit more nuanced than their previous catalog. Sure you still have Jake blurting out ridged lines like “Take a seat and crank this shit (this is a carnival). There’s more to the story than a worthless, crying, bitch” and an album that features noticeably pointlessly-titled tracks like “Octoabortion” which has nothing to do with Nadya Suleman and her eight hell fertility-spawn children, and instead deals with your personal demons and being alone. Why don’t we just name everything “TitsMcHammerFart” and be done with it.

Besides the nitpicking about lyrical immaturity — which does take a break during a few songs ie. “Walk In The Glow” which has Jake doing his best Randy Blythe impression “This world was created in six days, so too, shall it be destroyed.” and showcasing his impressively depthy growl shouts — as well as the slight agitation I get from how close this resembles Frankie Palmeri (Emmure), I can mostly speak well of “Nematocera” and the fresh aggression, technical skill, and a musical maturity beyond the band’s current years that shapes it. A far cry from their “I wanna see you cry, bitch” days.

Whether we are discussing the brutal pair of tracks “Elmo St. Peter” and “Iconoclast,” (which ensure we don’t have filler half-way through the record after the stand-out tracks “Walk In The Glow” and “Brick Just Killed A Guy” end), or the intellectually docile, yet moving instrumental title-track, Defiler never shows signs of weakness or shoddy craftsmanship; everything is finely tuned (down in all cases. bad guitar joke.) and technically prevalent (thanks to their guitarist Ethan Lewis who keeps a charged balance of melodic licks and chug-ridden riffs).

Even though Defiler may suffer from a few pit-falls of youthful musicians, they reinforce the lack of experience with raw talent, vocally, string side, as well as in their pummeling percussion. Normally a band would make an album like “Nematocera” after a few miscued first albums, but the fact that Defiler has tied all these proficient strings together already, makes me yearn to hear more from this talented and still maturing outfit. [Staff]

Score: 3 (out of 5)

Release Date: October 9th, 2012
Record Label: Razor & Tie Records
Genre: Deathcore
RIYL: Emmure, Suicide Silence, Iwrestledabearonce

Track Listing:
1. Lucky 38
2. Regulators
3. Octobortion (ft. Frankie Palmeri)
4. Movin’ On Up The Nation’s Chain
5. Brick Killed A Guy
6. Walk In The Glow
7. Subway
8. Elmo St. Peters
9. Iconoclast
10. Twinrova
11. Nuclear Anomaly
12. Metamora
13. Nematocera

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