Excluded

Release Date: 1-12-2017

Reviews

Debutalbummet Excluded fra danske Defecto har allerede opnået høj anmelderstatus i heavy metal pressen. Det forstås og Metalized følger gerne trop efter at have gennemlyttet de 11 velskrevne ambitiøse prog. metal sange på pladen. Defecto lyder internationalt og innovativt nyskabende indenfor prog. metal genren og det i en lyd så ren som en nyvasket barnenumse. Produceren er nemlig den danske legende Flemming Rasmussen kendt fra 80’ernes Sweet Silence Studios, hvor Metallica og Rainbow indspillede nogle af deres albums. En sammenligning med store udenlandske bands som Dream Theater, Metallica, Symphony X ogQueensrÿche er heller ikke for meget og ordet Jantelov er heldigvis et ekskluderet ord, for at blive i Defectos egen verden. Og så er det et dansk band med danske musikere, der lyder navnene Nicklas på sang/guitar, Thomas på bas, Frederik på guitar og Lars på trommer. Det er stærke metal sager som Defecto spiller hårdt ud med. Slagfast pumpet energi metal, hvæsende guitarer, nyskabende guitarsoli, spændende breaks udført af teknisk dygtige musikere samt ikke mindst en meget alsidig sanger i frontmand Nicklas Sonne, der både mestrer den rene rock sang, de høje toner samt den gurglende growl, så det til tider lyder som om, der er to forsangere i bandet. Sange som ”Excluded”, ”When Daylight Dies” og ”Sovereign” sparker lytter ud over Danmarks grænser for blot at nævne nogle trumf kort fra debutpladen. Det holder og selvom overlæggeren er sat højt i de udfordrende kompositioner bevares både melodien undervejs og energien er tight i bandets sammenspil. Defecto er et lovende dansk prog. metal band med international potentiale og så kan du høre det hele højt på COPENHELL til sommer. Det bliver cool.
"Excluded" kicks the clutch with the title track and without remorse, ravishes the rev counter. Groovy riffs and rolling drums rumble through the speakers like an oversized exhaust; that is how they ride. Tracks like "When Daylight Dies" and "Don't Lose Yourself" are metal monsters, engineered by the band to scour the record with overdriven delights. There are banging riffs, big choruses and streamlined melodies, all created to make those adrenaline glands squirt straight into the cerebral motor without pulling back on the throttle. From the moment of ignition, every track has energy and confidence. Yet there is more to this offering than speed and vigour. The song-writing on tracks like "Rage" –a passion-filled marvel - "Desperate Addict" and "Drifting Into Blackness" is poignant, intelligent, and most of all, captivating. DEFECTO demonstrate that they are more than just a musically talented Prog quartet; they are bonafide composers. Yes, the shred factor is strong, the Progressive elements are abundant, but their tanks are also filled with emotional force and intimate drive that make them soar across the finish line uncontested. The production is pristine, creating an absolutely bedazzling listening experience. And of course, the performances of the band members are flawless. Vocalist Nicklas Sonne has the ability to generate multiple personalities, which range from a man buried in turmoil to a sanguine fighter of omnipotent powers. His cleans are gritty and yet absolutely enchanting, and when he unleashes the demon within, his screaming/growling would be the envy of any creature in the worlds beyond. The rhythm section is a force in its own right, holding this aggregate by the reins and driving it home. And of course, when it comes to any genre of Metal, we have to talk about the guitars. The axe-grinding partnership of vocalist Sonne and guitarist Frederik Møller is an agency of sheer string-immolating shredding. The attitude laced rock licks and the flawless scale runs will get even the most prudent of listeners ready for an orgy. And most importantly, you can really feel them digging into their instruments with every muscle under the hood. The guitar tones too are pure girth and streak the tracks leaving behind an aroma of burned rubber amidst gasps of exhilaration. In conclusion, it doesn't matter whether you're a mechanic, a racer, an engineer or a teen on a joy-ride, DEFECTO's "Excluded" is a '67 Mustang that makes even the most devout patron of the sidewalk ache to get behind the wheel. If you're a Prog fan, then this just might be your next favourite band, and if you're not, well, the same goes for you.
One of the beautiful things about metal is that it constantly produces hidden gems that just wait to be discovered. Excluded, the debut album of Copenhagen-based Defecto is one of these and even though they come labeled as progressive metal, the next Dream Theater clone this is not. Not by far, the closest neighbour in the field is probably Swedish Evergrey, but even that comparison is a bit of a stretch. But that is not all, because if the producer name says Flemming Rasmussen, then the expectations just go up by at least another notch. Excluded is a wild mix of groovy riffing, beautiful dynamics, dark atmosphere, insanely catchy (but never even remotely shallow) choruses and the outstanding vocal performance of Nicklas Sonne (who now also joined Evil Masquerade), resulting in one of the most surprising and best prog metal albums of the year. As mentioned before, Defecto stand as far removed from the Dream Theaters and Opeths of the world as the prog world will allow, rather taking cues from power metal, groove metal and other genres, but what really makes this album so remarkable is the fact that the quartet effortlessly makes even the more complex compositions and time changes flow and just make it work. The opening title track combines the groove metal inspired riffing with great melodies, a dark atmosphere with uplifting vocal lines and a few well placed growls that actually add to the whole rather than distract. “Drifting into Blackness” brings out a stronger power metal list with sweeping guitars and keyboards, driven by double-bass drums, but it wouldn’t be Defecto, if they did not cleverly vary speeds and intensity and counter the soaring melodies with this feeling of melancholy that comes back throughout the album. Even when going tranquil and calm as on piano-borne “The Final Transition”, there is no drop in quality or overall drop in flow within the album. Sonne has one of these voices that can be smooth as silk and add just enough grit to be serious about it, while the growls that the band throws in here and there never seem like a foreign object, but just bring in a little bit of an extra facet, similar to the Pink Floyd-ian spheric keyboard passage of “Into Oblivion” or closing “The Sand of Time”, an emotive, powerful and epic ballad that evokes images of the grand ballads of the 80s, but without sounding antiquated. Until the 3:30 mark, where it morphs into a powerful mid-paced track with some growls, before returning to its epic beginning. As to be expected, the production is flawless, clear and powerful, as to be expected from Rasmussen, and the songs make the best of it, garnished with great musicianship, which could probably warrant some self-indulgent noodling, but the Danes show great restraint and stay away from it, making the songs so much richer with it. Excluded is a very hot contender for the title of debut of the year and has everything to stand in the forefront of the progressive movement. They are one of the few new bands these days that know how to take older influences and properly fusing them together into something that actually does not sound like everybody (or most) else!

Tracklist

1. Excluded 4:08
2. When Daylight Dies 4:26
3. You Had It Coming 3:19
4. Drifting into blackness 4:44
5. The Final Transition 3:49
6. Rage 3:34
7. Desperate Addict 3:37
8. Don't Lose Yourself 3:16
9. Into Oblivion 6:43
10. Sovereign 3:48
11. The Sands Of Time 7:00