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Act of Defiance – Old Scars New Wounds Review

Released by: Metal Blade Records

Release Date: September 29th, 2017

Genre: Extreme Metal

Links: https://www.facebook.com/actofdefiancemusic/

 

Line Up:

Chris Broderick – guitar
Henry Derek – vocals
Shawn Drover – drums
Matt Bachand – bass

 

Tracklist:

 M.I.A.
 
 Molten Core
 
 Overexposure

 The Talisman
 
 Lullaby of Vengeance
 
 Circle of Ashes
 
 Reborn
 
 Conspiracy of the Gods

 Another Killing Spree
 
 Broken Dialect

 Rise of Rebellion

 

The sophomore release of any band out there is often times a make or break deal, especially if a debut is so strong. One of the advantages of the privilege of writing for MGM is getting to follow up and coming bands as they progress through their career- whether they soar to new heights thanks in part to what we do here, or crash and burn. Act of Defiance, the band formed in 2014 after the abrupt departure of Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover from Megadeth, falls somewhere in between soaring and crashing. Birth and Burial, their debut release in 2015, was an impressive outing from a couple disappointing (that’s being nice) Megadeth releases, proving that it at least had little to do with the line-up causing the poor output of the thrash legends. It was super brutal, intense, and heavy as hell. When I heard they were releasing the follow-up I was eager to check it out.

Old Scars, New Wounds, for the most part, is pretty good album. Musically it’s still pretty aggressive, one of the main selling points for their first one, while at the same time driving the songs home with catchy riffs. A drawback seems that some are too reminiscent of the first. It’s still an enjoyable set of songs, but more of a continuation of the previous. A significant change in their sound I noticed from the opening track was the use of a clean vocal style. It was very shocking, and not necessarily in a negative way. I can see fans of the last album might not be keen on this change, but it was definitely one of the parts that made the album a bit different (from the previous, though not so much from the genre.) It’s not over-used, so those who are strictly into the growls shouldn’t be too off put by it. Ironically, one of my more favorite tracks from the album was “The Talisman” which is like a cross between latter-day Megadeth and Trivium. I also found “Lullaby of Vengeance,” “Conspiracy of The Gods,” and “Rise of Rebellion” to be the stand out tracks.

Though it sounds like I didn’t like the album, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I just didn’t love it near as much as the first one. Old Scars, New Wounds has some great moments, but overall it just kind of exists- good, but not great. With the level of talent in the band, I’m sure this is just an early stumble. It happens, and it’s not something they won’t be able to overcome down the road.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: 7/10

 

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