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Defiance Of Decease : Suicide

Defiance of Decease's Gothic/Doom debut proves well worth the lengthy wait.

Originally formed way back in 2007 in Cherkessk in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic in Russia, and with numerous line-up changes over the years, ‘Suicide' sees Defiance of Decease finally release their debut album. With a long and eventful history behind them, would their first release be worth the wait?

From the outset, Gothic is very much the order of the day, or perhaps more accurately, the order of the icy Cherkesskian night; opener ‘Like A Star In The Sky’ provides a brooding, atmospheric start to the album. With hushed, gravel-toned vocals from lead singer Ricardo Digalos, a soaring guitar solo and haunting female backing vocals from keyboardist Juliana Stadman, this is an enticing and deceptively gentle first step into the dark world of Defiance of Decease. We soon discover that this is a brief calm before a storm that breaks immediately on second track, ‘Possessed By A Demon’, which begins with the sound of demonic laughter before a frenetic riff and harsh Death Metal growled vocals kick up the aggression. The pace slows at times as we hear the sound of screams and a malevolent, Hammeresque keyboard lick, ensuring the Gothic feel is maintained amongst the Death-Doom mayhem.

It proves to be both a statement of intent, and the first time Defiance of Decease begin to demonstrate their full range. With elements of Death, Doom and Gothic Metal, along with clean and growled vocals from Ricardo Digolos, and some beautifully mournful assistance from Juliana Stadman, it’s clear that in the 8 years it took to release this debut, the guys have added plenty to their locker. The tracks almost seem to trip over one another in their urgency to be unleashed; every one of them delivered with fervour and assurance.

As ‘Suicide’ progresses, each track seems to build on the one preceding it. At around the midway point, ‘Blade Of Death’ is surely one of the album highlights. Beginning with the sound of dripping water, or, perhaps more likely, dripping blood, it launches into a thumping doom riff from lead guitarist Paul Stadman (yes, Juliana’s brother) and ear-splitting Death Metal screams, then speeds up with a super-fast intricate riff reminiscent of classic NWOBHM, until eventually slowing down again to a hummable, melodic conclusion with an eerie, desolate vocal from Juliana. Quite a journey.

And so begins a sequence of songs that demonstrate further dimensions to Defiance of Decease, ultimately seeing the album to its triumphant finale, ‘Ribbon Of Life’. It begins with a melodic arpeggiated riff, Gothic synths and clean vocals that ratchet up the tension until a crunching Doom riff kicks in and takes the track in a heavier, more urgent direction with some wild soloing and brutal Death Metal growling. As the song progresses, there are some quieter interludes, and at one point the sound of children playing can be heard, but soon the Death-Doom ferocity picks up once more. It’s a conclusion that showcases the band at their best, and left me wishing Defiance of Decease hadn’t taken so long to unleash this Gothic beast on the Metal community. ‘Suicide’ is a great debut that I hope will be the first of many more albums to come.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Like A Star In The Sky
2. Possessed By A Demon
3. Death In Fire
4. Farewell In Heart
5. Blade Of Death
6. Drowned
7. Cruel World
8. Ribbon Of Life

Duration : Approx. 40 minutes

Visit the Defiance Of Decease bandpage.

Reviewed on 2016-07-03 by Nick Harkins
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