Metal Overlord

Moshpit Mayhem

Def Con One – Warface

I was lucky enough to see Def Con One live earlier this year, a gig that showed that when done right, metal is a force to be reckoned with. When I heard that the band had an album coming out I wanted to hear if the band could transfer their live energy onto a CD. The good news it that you get all the live energy and so much more.

The album kicks in with Never Look Back, the song having a rarely used drum intro. A bold move, considering this is a debut album. It turns out to be a masterstroke as it’s the kind of drum intro that beats Painkiller into submission. The good thing is that you know something heavy is coming, but haven’t got a clue what it will be, then it hits you. A raw pummelling riff that grabs your throat until your gasping for air. There are more higher profile bands that need to take notice of how to start an album. March Of The Dead then kicks you in the groin with the kind of riff that slipknot have almost forgot how to write, before opening up into the kind of song that you want to hear time and time again. Singer Davey Meikle gives a lesson in voice control, going from clean vocals to throat tearing screams. Fortunately I’ve seen him do this live so I know how easily he pulls this feat off. The other noticeable thing about this song apart from a guest solo from Mike Hickey is the double bass drumming of Antton. The double bass drums never give you a moments peace, if play this on a decent sound system them you will feel them pounding into our chest.

A demonic laugh introduces the title track Warface, before Johnny Hunter unleashes a huge groove laden riff. Warface is one of the shortest song on the album, it definately leaves you hungry for more. Word of warning, Warface could do permanent damage to your neck as you unleash a one man moshpit wherever you happen to be listening to it. Hold On hits you with an opening thrash riff before once again opening into a huge wall of noise, with a big bouncing chorus. This could cause chaos in the live arena, especially as another godzilla groove hits you towards the songs climax.

Blood sounds like a song that Hatebreed would love to pinch. Aggressive parts to snap your neck to, a chorus to sing a long to. Big mention to Steve Miller as he brings the extra heaviness with a monster bass sound. For four band members, Def Con One have a wall of sound that remind me of the huge sound that System Of A Down can create with only four members. Steeped In Pain basically does what it says on the tin. Thrashes the life out of you until a huge groove comes two minutes from the end of the song, just to stomp all over you once more.

10 Bullets kicks off with the type of riff that you really have to jump around to. You will get a little respite through the verses before the band bring it once more.  There is a hell of a lot to enjoy about this album for fans of the heavy side, however they would never guess what comes next. The sound of pouring rain comes through the speakers followed by the ringing of a church bell. Feeling Cold kicks in with an acoustic guitar, taking the listener totally by surprise. A song like this should be out of place on an all out metal album, but Feeling Cold has a heaviness of its own created by the atmosphere of the song. Thank God it’s not a ballad.

My Halo once again shows off Davey Meikle’s vocal prowess. Built on a huge slab of groove, the song builds and falls with the vocals matching it at all times. A very catchy verse grabs your attention before being torn apart by the tormented screams. Hit List comes at you like a great big Southern freight train. Clean vocals almost all the way through, this is a beer drinking song of the highest order. This is as commercial as Def Con One get and the underlying groove of the song isn’t going to leave you anytime soon.

Next up is In Death. This song builds and builds until we get the kind of riff that circlepits were made for. The song then takes you on a little journey that you have no choice but to sit back and enjoy. Tha last song on the album, Give Me Strength 6&6, has an almost middle eastern, Sabbath esque opening to it. Very slow, very heavy, almost stoner like riffage that instantly grabs your attention and gets your head moving. This is possibly my favourite track on the album, the way it uses light and shade in the song gives it the edge over the others.

One thing I can say about the album is that there are no songs on here that sound like each other, each song has it’s own identity and it’s own life. Def Con One have shown that they are not afraid to take chances with their music, as shown with Feeling Cold and Give Me Strength 6&6. Their is a lot more to this band than just being a brutal metal band. If the band can continue to develop, continue to take chances, they can be as big as they want to be. One hell of an album.

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