Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Defeater - Abandoned

Having grown up with punk music and having spent a fair share of my teenage years with hardcore punk, I've always kept a held a close relationship with the genre and its' spirit, more so than with metal music. Out of all of the various scenes, one that has always stuck out for me personally was the Boston scene, home to some of the most gripping, powerful hardcore acts and to some my very favorite bands in the genre, including Defeater, returning here with their 4th full-length album "Abandoned"
Continuing in their tradition of narrative concept albums, "Abandoned" follows the story of an unfrocked catholic priest struggling with his past and his faith. As you might've probably guessed by now, the album certainly does not lack much in the way of ambition this time around, which makes for a fairly promising premise. With this current full-length effort, Defeater also return with a more polished production and a recovered vocalist sounding angrier than ever. While this album doesn't fundamentally change all that much from the bands' exceptional back catalogue, I couldn't help but feel as though the album were somewhat lacking some genuine angst and emotional depth and nuance that helped flesh out their previous narratives so vividly.
Production wise, I also felt as though the vocals were a little too much on the forefront, unfortunately overlooking some of the great passages of the album and keeping us from reaching a full, immersive listening experience. The lyrical leitmotivs present on the album helped glue the album together in a coherent concept, though I couldn't help but feel as though the focus of the album production was misdirected towards the concept rather than the bands' explosive energy and which brings these albums to life.
The album features some left-hooks such as "Unanswered" and the post-hardcore driven "Penance", while other tracks seem to fly by without leaving much of an impression.
Overall, I do admit to expecting more from this release. Nevertheless, while "Abandoned" comes out as a mixed bag of songs, the album is still worth checking out for some of the albums' strongest tracks, and while some of the others didn't do much for me, I trust the bands' lively energy and talent enough to be able to bring out their hidden colours in a live setting.

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