Domination Commence (Nuclear Blast)
by Martin Popoff
S’funny, only attuned metalheads with paranoid and sensitive nü metal radar would detect the nü metal that the label hype casually and sparingly mentions as being buried somewhere within The Defaced. But sure, dig and it’s there (amidst the band’s Swedish melodic death: This features Soilwork and Darkane folk), in the occasional mopey and electro-treated vocals, in the guitar tones, in the quiet scrapey sections.
But the lesson is more likely about how heavy nü metal can be at times, The Defaced combining extreme Swedish violence with the white hot and heaviest bits from Amercian nü metal bands, most notably Machine Head and maybe Skrape and Slipknot (see opener “October Ruins” for a weird approximation of the ‘Knot). In fact, I hear more Nevermore and debut-era Machine Head guitar riffing and tones in here than later Machine Head. And same thing with Henry Ranta’s drumming: This is 90% complex frost metal and maybe 10% cymbal-thrashing American groove. Somebody had to try this, and what a great idea. And what great execution as well, The Defaced staying well the hell away from anything within nü metal that is annoying and damnifying, while just lightly sampling some of the cool new ways nü found to be heavy.
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