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Act of Defiance - Birth and the Burial

Label: Metal Blade
Format: CD download
Released: 2015
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 7.5/ 10


With a career that spans playing guitar for Jag Panzer, Nevermore, and seven-years in Megadeth, Chris Broderick, with other former Megadeth alum, drummer Shawn Drover, have decided to form another band. Act Of Defiance is a combination of sounds from thrash, both the melodic and aggressive nature of Scandinavian bands like say The Haunted, technical (see the Death influence in the one section of ‘Thy Lord Belial’), to an influence from modern American metal. Musically, Act Of Defiance is very intense, while melodic, and Chris did a great job of balancing and incorporating both. The voice(s) on the other hand, leaves much to be desired and is often too one dimensional, or contrasting.

 

‘Throwback’ shows off Chris’ tapping skills before kicking into full thrash mode and would have been more enjoyable, and is with the backing vocals, without the extreme vocal. This, a problem throughout the album, and would be more effective and enjoyable in small doses. ‘Legion Of Lies’ eases up on the attack, includes a moody chorus, switching back and forth between the harsh and a cleaner vocal. This is where the American metal, metalcore shows up a bit. So if you don’t like this vocal style, Chris does counteract it with his playing. Nice dynamics with the fingered acoustic begun ‘Refrain and Re-Fracture’ (also see the piano in ‘Poison Dream’), but after the build the aggressive vocal ruins it. I like the attack in ‘Dead Stare’ and the vocal delivery is more like Trivium, not too extreme with a little mild abrasiveness. Bass in the opening to ‘Obey The Fallen’ has that old Metallica feel, the song itself is very contemporary American metal with the choice in singing and clashing harsh vocal.

After hearing how well Chris is able to be heavy and intense, melodic and groove oriented in composition, it’s too bad he wasn’t able to contribute to Megadeth more. Maybe “Super Collider” wouldn’t had been such a dud. Act Of Defiance has a lot of potential in the music, just needs focus and consistency in the vocals.

 
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