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Released: 2002, Nightmare Records
Nearly 2 years after the release of TIME LOST Defyance are back with a new release, TRANSITIONAL FORMS, and a new vocalist, Lance King, who just might be what the band needs to push them over the top. For those that don’t know, Lance King is the vocalist for Balance of Power who’s latest CD PERFECT BALANCE, which was released in 2001, was a great piece of melodic metal and one of the better disc released in 2001. Along with King the core members of the band remain intact. Brent A. Scott: guitars, Doug Beary: drums, Marcus Peterson; guitars founded the band in the late 80s in the search for music that was both technical and interesting. They felt that the metal scene was being over saturated by the cookie cutter bands that were churned out by the major labels and sought to create something more original. They released 4 CDs. In 1989 Defyance released a self-titled 4-song demo and followed that up with a 5-song recording entitled VOICES WITHIN in 1992. AMARANATHINE followed those in 1996 and 2000 saw the release of TIME LOST. When the time came to record TRANSITIONAL FORMS, the band recruited long time friend Aaron Bell for bass duties.
The first thing that struck me when I listened to this CD for the first time was the vocals of King and how they fit the sound of the band perfectly. His powerful yet melodic voice added another dimension to the sound of Defyance. On TIME LOST the vocals of Scott Andreas were farther back in the mix which had him battling at times with the rest of the band. King doesn’t suffer from that problem as his vocals are front and center. That is not to say that the rest of the band doesn’t shine. They take everything that was good about TIME LOST and turn it to 11. “A Force to Face My Fears” , “Fire of Ancients”, and the 9 minute epic “Tied to a Wheel” are all great tracks that highlight the bands more up tempo and powerful side. The surprise of the CD for me was “Never Fade Away”. This is a largely acoustic song with some keyboards. King delivers an emotional performance with the lyrics revolving around sorrow and inner torment. The band along with Matt Bell handled the production on TRANSITIONAL FORMS and it is rich crystal clear. The drums could use a bit more of a bite but overall the production is a step up from earlier efforts.
After 2 years I was interested to hear how Defyance had progressed. The progression is minimal but what the band has done is refined their sound. The addition of Lance King has added a piece to the puzzle that makes the band a better unit. As in the past the keyboards are kept to a minimum with producer Matt Bell adding them where necessary. The CD artwork is again a notch above their last release with the layout being done by Marcus Peterson. As with past Defyance releases Nightmare Records is handling the distribution of the CD. Hopefully TRANSITIONAL FORMS will put Defyance on the metal map. If progressive tinged melodic powermetal is your cup of tea. Check out the band.
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