Defyance


Amaranthine

Defyance - Amaranthine ©1996 Self-Released
1. Without Your Love
2. Wings Of Angels
3. Coming Home
4. Seize The Day
5. Invention #4 In D Minor
6. Freedom Forever
7. Your Love Lies
8. Voices Within
9. Where Are You Now
10. Running Free

Ah Iowa, hotbed of modern heavy metal! What fan of heavy metal can't name at least ten heavy metal acts that hail from Iowa? Yeah, me neither. Ok, Iowa aside, Defyance are a fivesome who play some really good progressive metal. If you're of the opinion that Dream Theater has forgotten the "metal" part of the progressive metal equation, you might want to give Defyance a listen. Amaranthine, which means eternally beautiful and unfading, is the second CD available from the band's websites or a few online retailers. The music is solid, guitar driven metal with a nice backdrop of keys that show a definite Dream Theater influence. Sadly, the production quality is not the greatest. Some of these songs could really shine were it not for the poor quality of the CD. Musically, there is a lot of talent on this disc. The guitar work is first rate with lots of crunch. But the main drawback for me was the singing. The singer has a good voice, but he uses it too hard on this disc. Much of the singing almost screamed. The vocalist for this CD is not the same as on the more recent Time Lost CD, and the improvement is very dramatic. Aside from the forced vocalization, the songs are above average for progressive metal. The lyrics are available only on the website. The lyrics are upbeat and of the positive, feel-good variety. If you were to only buy one Defyance CD, I'd recommend Time Lost as a more mature and focused CD, but Amaranthine tries hard to live up to its name.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 06/2000

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Time Lost

Defyance - Time Lost ©1999 Self-Released
1. Turn To Yesterday
2. Shadows In My Mind
3. West Horizon
4. Between The Lies
5. From The Sky
6. Unturned Stone
7. The Game
8. My Nightmares
9. Break The Silence

With a new vocalist in place, Defyance releases their third CD which is available for purchase at their website or from a few online vendors. This CD is several steps forward from Amaranthine in terms of quality and cohesiveness. As the band has matured, they have settled on a solid progressive metal sound with a few notable influences. "Shadows of my Mind" has a Golden Earring feel to it, reminding me a bit of Vanilla Queen, but with a much heavier sound. There are hints of Dream Theater in the keys and Uriah Heep and Iron Maiden in the vocal structure and harmonies. The guitars wind around each other in ways reminiscent of Iron Maiden. The combination of all these influences creates a sound that is both unique and familiar. You'll catch yourself thinking, "Where have I heard that before," or, "That sounds like . . ." in more than one place as you're listening. This disc is full of heavy, driving metal with a nice tight sound and feel. The change in vocalists adds to the sound and gives it a depth that was missing on Amaranthine. The talent of the group is brought out in how well they work as a unit in producing the songs. The sound on this disc flows much better than on Amaranthine. This disc has seen a lot of play time with me. Defyance is still reaching to define themselves, but they have come a long way with this CD. I don't know why they are still an independent group. This is a band that deserves to be signed with a decent label. There is just too much talent and potential here to go unnoticed.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 06/2000

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