Album review: DEFECTO – Excluded

DEFECTO – Excluded

Elevation [Release date 19.03.16]

This is the debut effort from Danish symphonic rockers, Defecto.  It’s a pretty solid, competent outing and follows an EP in 2012.  If there’s nothing here to set the world on fire, there is certainly more than enough to satisfy fans of the genre.

The album is packed with confident melodies, layered vocals, sweeping keyboards and precise guitar work. Lots to like.

Title track ‘Excluded’ kicks off proceedings with a pacy track that neatly showcases most of the band’s tricks and styles. ‘When Daylight Dies’ follows a similar theme, perhaps with a touch more snarl about the guitar lines.

The album gets more interesting with some stretching vocal delivery on ‘You Had It Coming’ segueing into an edgy ‘Drifting Into Blackness’, both powered by pumping keyboard lines.

‘The Final Transition’ features the first real pace and mood change; ‘Rage’ is about the heaviest track on offer; and ‘Don’t Lose Yourself’, together with ‘Sovereign’ are the most direct and accessible. These two are the pick of the album for me.

The production values ratchet in at a high level. No surprise when one learns that the album was recorded in Flemming Rasmussen’s studio and was overseen by the legendary Metallica technician, together with Jan Langhoff (who I believe has europop act Aqua on his CV!)

The band is very much led by Nicklas Sonne who as well as handling lead vocals, guitars, song writing duties, also had a hand in mixing and mastering the album. The rest of the band comprises Frederik Miller on guitars, Thomas Bartholin on bass and Lars Jensen on drums.

There are elements of the prog/symphonic metal of Nightwish about material like ‘Into Oblivion’ and the inevitable epic-shot ‘The Sands Of Time’ (check out Sonne’s great vocal here) though on the whole it is the uptempo tracks that come across more effectively.

Good debut. Safe enough and a little predictable in parts, but more than hinting at promise to come. ***½ 

Review by Dave Atkinson

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