High Defiance – Lessons From Hate – Review

High Defiance

Lessons From Hate
by Scott Hefflon
photo by Chris Johnson

Rage can be a beautiful thing. Directed properly, it can be a limitless source of energy and inspiration. There are so many things to hate in this world, it’s all too easy to be an equal opportunity cynic and merely hate it all. How non-productive. A more constructive usage of hate is to tear off chunks of the Big Picture, analyze and understand it, and use it to your advantage.

Brian, bassist and vocalist of High Defiance, explained, “We took a lot of flack from people for the song ‘If’ because it says hate and has a lot of aggressive words. Lessons From Hate is about hating the right things; things that beat you down and hold you back. It’s about strength, inner strength, and going as far as you can. That’s hardcore.” High Defiance attacks on every level and comes out as a solid, headcrushing band with a sharp-looking new release and has the raw energy and power to play mind-blowing shows from now until the end of time.

High Defiance’s listening party had a great line up of strong, heavy bands: Insult, Crawlspace, Razorwire, and Grip. The show pulled in more crazed pitsters than expected from a band so fresh-faced. Perhaps it has something to do with the drive the band has both on stage and off. Evidently, the mix of D.J. Hip Hop/Funk/Thrash is not to everyone’s taste. Some big, burly beer-swilling redneck voiced warning,”I hope y’all are into rapshit,” on our way in, and his way out.

Sorry, bro, perhaps a Zeppelin tribute band is more your style. This is only for the hardcore. D.J. Down is now full-on with the gang, and might even be in the band photos this time. His scratches and samplings add yet another dimension to H.D.’s massive sound. With all the tuned low and mean crunch chords going on, the sampled clips skim like flat rocks across the surface of a lake. Of course, the serene picnic atmosphere ends there.

High Defiance is becoming rather notorious for its three ring vocal assault. The vocals are somewhere amidst hardcore barks and death core roars, each of the three chipping in their say to form the whole. Even when various technical troubles down-shifted the momentum, they filled the gap with Bee Gees hit singles and jokes about faulty equipment. When the intro to “If” began, the pit broke loose even moreso than before. High Defiance seems to draw out the true pit warriors – lunatics with style, stamina, and absolutely no concept of bodily harm. It’s quite a spectacle to experience.