Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover surprised the entire metal community when they announced their departure from thrash legends Megadeth. Speculations circulated about the possible formation of a new supergroup, and viola, enter vocalist Henry Derek, formerly of Scar The Martyr, and bassist Matt Bachand of Shadows Fall fame. Act Of Defiance was born! One would surely expect greatness out of this much talent, and they don’t disappoint. They harness a modern thrash feel tied to the melody of Derek’s vocals. It’s an awesome combination.
“Throwback” comes at you with melodic guitars, then launches into an all-out thrash fest! It has everything an awesome metal song should, including blistering verses, melodic choruses and enough hooks to keep you headbanging for the entire song. “Legion of Lies” has an old school, Testament feel to it. It retains the furiousness of “Throwback” but with an evil overtone and haunting chorus. “Thy Lord Belial,” my favorite here, harnesses the snarling anger in Derek’s vocals and the screaming of Broderick’s guitar to create the perfect storm. The chorus is catchy and brutal. “Refrain and Re-Fracture” begins with a haunting acoustic piece, then breaks into a galloping frenzy. Drover really shows his abilities and lets it all out here. The balance between clean and scream vocals in the chorus is superb. “Disastrophe” has a Bay Area thrash feel to it, and Broderick really shows his licks during the breaks. It gallops along at a breakneck pace and never lets up the thrash hooks. “Poison Dream” opens with a classically inspired intro before building to a cool sounding riff. Once again, the balance in the vocals really makes this song. “Crimson Psalm” actually sounds like it could have been on Megadeth‘s Rust In Peace. The thrash sound really sparks a fire here, and it breaks into an almost tribal like feel midway, just before a KILLER guitar solo. The title track closes things out with a bludgeoning, groove-laden, feast for the ears.
Expectations were huge for Act Of Defiance. They really overcame them with Birth and the Burial. It is an amazing debut album that really showcases a very talented group of musicians.
Birth and the Burial is out now on Metal Blade Records. Buy it now!
SkullsNBones Rating (Out Of 5):