Album Releases Album Reviews

Act of Defiance – Birth and the Burial Review



Released by: Metal Blade

Release date: 21 August 2015

Genre: Heavy Metal, Thrash, Shred

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Chris Broderick – Guitar

Henry Derek – Vocals

Shawn Drover – Drums

Matt Bachand – Bass


Track Listing:

01. Throwback

02. Legion of Lies

03. Thy Lord Belial

04. Refrain and Re-Fracture

05. Dead Stare

06. Disastrophe (A New Reality)

07. Poison Dream

08. Obey the Fallen

09. Crimson Psalm

10. Birth and the Burial


There are bands in the history of metal that have forged legacies that will live forever in the annals of metaldom. Some of these bands have made some egregious errors in their careers that have forever tarnished their luster and left their longtime fans scratching their heads wondering, “What the hell has happened to them?” Probably the most recognized of this ilk would be Metallica with everything post And Justice For All. Ironically enough, a band that formed from that band, Megadeth, is also heading into that territory. The last two albums have really been pretty bad, and not worthy of the talent and abilities of a man at the level of Dave Mustaine. With the ever-revolving line-up changes I have often wondered if that had something to do with it: that lack of cohesiveness and the influence of new people swaying him to do different stuff. For a while, Shawn Drover and Chris Broderick were with the band and both were featured on 13 and Super Collider, the worst albums Megadeth have put out to date. I know that Dave is the main man (he hasn’t been dubbed MegaDave for nothing,) but I wondered if some of his “changes” were brought about by the new guys.

Clearly the answer would be no listening to the debut of Act of Defiance entitled Birth and the Burial. Joining Broderick and Drover are Henry Derek (former vocalist for Scar the Martyr) and Matt Bachand (guitarist for Shadows Fall, moving to bass,) and it is chock full of delightful thrash metal badassery. Gearing more for a modern thrash sound, the band delivers a very strong debut, proving to at least me they weren’t the reason for the lack of metal in the last couple ‘Deth albums. I don’t totally love it, the vocals don’t work for me, and sometimes the songs are a little dull, but overall it’s an entertaining listen. Tracks like “Throwback,” “Disastrophe,” “Thy Lord Belial,” and “Obey the Fallen” deliver some chugging riffs, brilliant solos, and show some serious Megadeth influence without sounding like a duplicate. There were moments I thought they took direct aim at their former boss with subtle hints, just enough to say, “Hey, it wasn’t our fault.”

The battle lines have been drawn, and I’m curious to see where Megadeth goes with their next album, but for now Act of Defiance are living true to their name and defying at least their most recent musical output, giving metalheads some definite neck breaking material. Other than the vocals (just not my particular style of vocals as opposed to outright hating them) and there were a couple songs I felt didn’t live up to the rest, but this is an excellent debut from them and I’m curious to see what follows Birth and the Burial.


Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: Chris  7/10

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