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Product Of Society

Defiance - Product Of Society ©1989 RC Records
1. The Fault
2. Death Machine
3. Product Of Society
4. Forgotten
5. Lock Jaw
6. Insomnia
7. Deadly Intentions
8. Aftermath
9. Tribulation
10. Hypothermia

Most everyone is aware of the fruitful Bay Area thrash scene that sprung up in the 80s around the likes of Metallica, Exodus and others. While the scene did spawn some of the era's best thrash, it also spawned off a whole host of second and third string bands that, while enthusiastic, probably don't warrant quite the same high regard as others in the scene.

One such band is Defiance. While the band featured decent guitarists and all the elements of Bay Area thrash, Defiance never did much to set themselves apart from the rest of the flock. The band's debut, Product of Society, is a passable attempt at the hallowed style, but not exactly something that'll hold up over time as a classic, or even a pretty darned good record. Defiance had the whole thrash thing down, including the pretty acoustic interludes and song introductions, but their songs tended to run through a series of crunchy riffs without providing a hook for the listener. Vocalist Ken Elkinton, who left after the debut, is completely without identity, offering nothing more than a standard rundown of the lyrics. As a result, nothing about Product of Society stands out in any regard. There are some good thrash records from the era, but this isn't one of them.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 12/2003

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Void Terra Firma

Defiance - Void Terra Firma ©1990 Roadrunner
1. Void Terra Firma
2. Deception of Faith
3. Questions
4. Skitz-Illusions
5. Slayground
6. Killers
7. Steamroller
8. Checkmate
9. Buried or Burned
10. Last Resort (Welcome to Poverty)

By the time Defiance released their second album, Void Terra Firma, the band had replaced vocalist Ken Elkinton with Steev Esquivel, whose gruff delivery was rather reminiscient of a certain Chuck Billy of a certain Testament band that happened to live nearby. The album did little to set Defiance apart from the rest of their Bay Area brethren. Much like their debut, Void Terra Firma shows off all the usual thrash metal elements but with not a whole lot of flair or originality. I suppose Esquivel added a bit more of an edge, but Defiance still manages to linger in the coattails of their peers. Oh sure, they have some cute song titles like "Slayground" and a pretty good cover of Iron Maiden's "Killers", but beyond the cool cover art there's not a whole lot about this release that seems to stand out.

Void Terra Firma occasionally sounds like a band who sounds more assured in their actual musicianship, but manage to actually sound less interesting somehow. Their debut, though obviously not exactly a genre classic, at least had some sheer adrenaline of a young band playing fast paced music, but the follow up generally sounds like second rate Testament playing mediocre throwaway songs that weren't good enough for Souls in Black.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2011

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