finally returns this year after a long break from studio releases with In Crisis
, their follow up to 2003's Divination
. With the exception of guitarist Yusuke, Defiled
2011 features a brand new lineup in the studio, with the latest addition being Takahiro on drums in 2009.
Before the album was released, the band released a statement saying that this is going to be one of their loudest and rawest effort to date, and they have definitely proven their point with In Crisis
. The first thing that one notices when listening to this new record is the production quality of the album. The music is raw, loud and relentless, much more powerful than 2003's Divination
, with the bass lines and the drumming hitting the listener in the face. The good thing though, is that none of the instruments are compromised and each can be individually picked out in the chaos that ensues on the album.
After a short introduction track, From Alpha, the listener is hit by a strong riff by bassist Haruhisa on Lethal Agitator
. The funky bass lines that are clearly audible throughout the entire album adds to the enjoyment of the album, unlike the many bands that bury their bassists deep in the mix. The schizophrenic time signatures are still present and Takahiro proves his ability on tracks such as Unconscious Slave, where he alternates between odd time signatures, all the while keeping up the pace on the snare-tom drum rolls. Vocalist Kenji (also from Butcher ABC
) shows that he can match up with his predecessor, though he presents a lower form of growls compared to Hideki.
Unfortunately, while each of the instruments are superbly executed, the songwriting on the album has weakened slightly compared to Divination
, with riffs that are somewhat less memorable and are easily forgettable, requiring numerous listens for it to leave an impression on the listener's mind. I'll admit, Divination
took me numerous listens and catching them live for me to get into, but In Crisis
is a more abrasive record, taking me even more listens to even have some sort of a memory of what it sounds like.
While the music of Defiled
has remained largely similar as before, the production quality on this album has certainly differentiated this album from previous releases, giving the band's music a fresh sound.