Track Premiere and Interview: Crushing Death Metal Dissonance from Defacement
It is my/our/whatever distinct pleasure to present a new installment in The War Inside My Head interview series, a pleasure inextricably tied to just how fucking great this band is. Oh, and there's also the business of exclusively streaming a new song from their upcoming self-titled album, out next month via the great I, Voidhanger Records. We'll get to that, and for those itching for some crushing sounds you know where to find that Bandcamp player.
Defacement sort of exploded into the underground with their mind-bogglingly heavy and accomplished debut, Deviant (included in our 2019 best of list) And already from the get go this talented Dutch-Libyan clump of menacing riffs made it distinctly clear what it was that set them apart. Dissonance, as some may have gathered already, has become a kind of trope in this post-Deathspell Omega, post-Ulcerate age we live in. And don't get me wrong, that shit is fire when done right, like some kind of demented, 99% dark chocolate. But Defacement don't just do dissonance, they do, if I may, music, and it's that musicality, their ear for nuance, pacing, dynamics, and – oh shit – songwriting that made them special from the absolute start, something that they continue to nurture on Defacement.
Case in point is their newest single, "Wounded," the very one we shall be premiering right here, and that you no doubt are already listening to. Featuring the emotionally explosive growls that are the trademark of Brendan Sloan's throat (Convulsing, Cosmic Putrefaction, et al), "Wounded" is one of the absolute heaviest, most pummeling songs you'll hear this side of Carcinoma (do not sleep) combined with an incredibly tender, interesting and honestly moving performance. It's like the words of violence only said in the syntax of melancholy and love. It's glorious, is what I'm saying.
So as you regale yourself with blast beats and emotions, you can also take a quick read through the attached interview with Defacement's gifted guitarist Khalil and check out some of the albums that were the most meaningful to him – past, present, and future. Well worth checking out, a lot of great music awaits.
Before we get the interview with Kerberos of Lykhaeon this is just to say that you can check out our other interview series (Albums of the Decade, Pillars of the 90s) and, you haven't already, please follow follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify and now also on TikTok, or support whatever it is that we do on Patreon, and check out our kinda-sorta podcast, MATEKHET (YouTube, Spotify and all that). On to Khalil and Defacement.
What was the first album you bought with your own money, and where did you buy it?
Slayer’s Reign in Blood from a local music store in the city where I came from. Reign in Blood was kind of my way to get in touch with and understand more extreme music and served as an introduction to death metal around that age.
What 2-3 albums did you hear the most growing up?
Morbid Angel – Altars of Madness. Morbid Angel has always been an influence on my taste in music in general. Sodom – Persecution Mania. I remember that persecution mania got me to dig deeper and deeper into old school metal, especially thrash!
What album taught you the most about making music (mixing, production, performance)?
The Number 12 Looks Like You – Worse than Alone, It's one of the weirdest albums that I heard at the time. Still has a great impact with each listen, even now.
What is the last album that absolutely shocked you?
Ad Nauseam – Imperative Imperceptible Impulse. This album is really creative. I admire the rhythm and also the production.
What album relaxes you or centers you the most?
Pat Metheny – Question and Answer. I have discovered a lot of jazz lately, and have been listening to Pat Metheny and especially to this album because it contains some really brilliant work.
What are the 2-3 albums you’ve listened to the most recently?
Nero di Marte – Immoto. I have been listening to this album a lot recently and it has some really creative work, with a really good ambiance to it.
Baring teeth – Transitive Savagery. If chaos had a definition, it would be this album. There's also a feeling of frustration created by the dissonance in it. It's not just many notes being played. In all that chaos, there's order.
Convulsing – Grievous. This is an album that I really relate with. I heard it in a rough period and musically, there's much in it that just keeps growing on me.
What album is grossly underrated?
Dodheimsgard – A Umbra Omega. Probably our favorite album of all time in extreme music. Lyrics, concept and performance are all great and really hard music but not for the sake of playing hard. There's a deep concept and lots of emotions in musical form in A Umbra Omega. [Go here for our interview with the great Vicotnik about, also, this album as well].
What album would you recommend from your local scene?
Gorrch – Introvertere. One of the best black metal albums I ever heard. Definitely worth a listen.