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Album Review: Defiled - The Highest Level

Review by Chris Barton

I often wonder what it would have been like to be around during the formation of death metal.

Hearing bands like Obituary and Malevolent Creation for the first time as they’re breathing life into a new genre on the shoulders of the thrash giants that came before them.

Seeing Grave, Cancer or Dismember play small venues reeking of stale beer and sweat to crowds who are desperate to hear this crazy music they discovered tape trading with their buddies.

Defiled don’t have to wonder, for they were there.

Whilst Florida was giving birth to the likes of Morbid Angel, Deicide and Cannibal Corpse, Europe was tooling up the likes of Carcass and Entombed in response. All the while, Japan had Defiled in the wings ready to storm the shores of the USA and prove that it wasn’t just the west that dominated in the realm of extreme music.

Defileds latest album, “The Highest Level” proves that they deserve to be revered in the annals of death metal history.

Proving that 30 years of playing death metal only makes you stronger... Although “The Highest Level” sounds like it was recorded 30 years ago in the Iconic “Morrisound Studios”, its delivery is fresh and visceral.

Each song is almost schizophrenic in its structure, tempos pulling back and forth, riffs seemingly coming out of nowhere and changing feels keeping you interested and hooked from the first song to the 15th.

As an album, I felt it took a song or two to really feel it, but once I was in, I was hooked. So many moments I caught myself headbanging and pulling retched stink faces. I love the constant changes, the simplicity of execution and its brutal honesty.

This is death metal at its most beastly and primal.

Stripped bare and exposed for the world to appreciate its naked beauty and I love it.

In a world of snare bombs, sub drops and sample replaced drums, “The Highest Level” is a refreshing listen and proof that solid and interesting song writing delivered raw and with passion will move the listeners more than sheen and polish.

If you love early Cryptopsy, Morbid Angel and Cynic (and honestly who doesn’t?) you’ll love Defiled.

Watch 'Red World' here:

'The Highest Level' will be released on 28th April 2023 via Season Of Mist!

Defiled are:

Shinichiro Hamada (Vocal, Guitar)

Yusuke Sumita (Guitar)

Takachika Nakajima (Bass)

Keisuke Hamada (Drums)


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