Born out of the late ‘80s thrash movement that resided on the techy side came a band known as Defiance. One with a smaller but still sizeable following, they rode the waves alongside bands like Toxik, Annihilator, as well as sprouting fruits similar to later thrash releases by Overkill or Metallica. Product Of Society could not be a more fitting name, as this is comprised of coherent tunes giving a feeling of unease, delivered with a sense of grit.
That said, this is still one of the tamer releases from the movement. The vocals hold a lot of melody and are only garnished with a punkier attitude, one that shows heavily in the title track. Tracing this to the crossover movement a few years prior might have something to do with it. “Deadly Intentions” brings this to the forefront, being the most direct thrash tune that’s through quite fast.
Smart tactics play into crafting such works without it stagnating. The drums alone are outstanding for no reason other than the placement and timing of the bursts. Dig deep into the layers of “Lock Jaw” to get a taste. The production causes the right amount of buzz without overblowing any of the layers. Solid transitioning helps this a lot as well, such as the soft intake of air before crashing into “Tribulation,” an intricate instrumental of high altitude.
What really boosts Product Of Society regarding quality is their fluid song structures, avoiding any kind of unnecessary tangents. “Forgotten” showcases a familiar riffing style that’s introduced by a mean lead-melody to project a fitting image. With the focus being on the progressions of the guitar tracks, the vocals take a step down in aggression. The cleaner delivery pairs greatly with these stellar rhythms. “Insomnia” takes this a step further by interweaving acoustics and clean licks into a booming riff sequence. Easily this has the best rhythm section, and the lyrics are great.
But this is one of many. Defiance are a band that have collected dust over time but could really use some fresh ears. It checks every box without cramming in too much, and most importantly makes a lasting impression. For those who seek an older thrash treat that isn’t as typical, this is your stop.