Baton Rouge, Louisiana quartet Deface have been around longer than you might think. Their debut “Scars” was actually originally released in 2001 though it appears remastered by Chad Kelly in 2018. Line-up changes between then and now probably aren’t the only reason that it’s taken 18 years to release sophomore album “Born Of Hatred” with a new team of Wes Tate on guitars and vocals, Daryl Lights on bass, Freddie Ehrhardt on drums and vocals from Lance Strickland. They played the album release show for “Insufferable Humanity” from Arbre Mort which we reviewed a month or so ago and the cover art depicts a more evil alien version of Spiderman nemesis Dr Octopus so we’re expecting this one to be heavy.
Strickland lets out an almighty roar to bring “Paint The Walls Red” to life with demonic possession moment while Ehrhardt delivers a huge kit performance with some brutal blast beats and powerhouse fills to accompany some classic Death Metal riffs. The production is raw but the feel of a live performance captured with some higher pitched vocals from Tate offering a fine contrast to Strickland’s demonic tones. “Sever Thy Tongue” brings some Thrash riffs to table along with a bass solo moment from Lights that shows the band has more to them than meets the eye and the chorus could well be a crossover Hardcore track in a different setting. Strickland’s personal lyrical attack calls out the liars and naysayers with finger pointing aggression. “Enemy” builds on the previous track with a well worked elongated solo straight out of the bay area Thrash scene complete with whammy bar moment in a whirlwind of venomous lyrics as Strickland quite literally sees red.
After a speech sample “Slashing The Veil” comes out swinging with chugging riffs and blast beats that leave you wondering how Tate can manage to carry off his guitars alongside his vocals live. Another face melting solo is a ripping moment that evokes thoughts of Death Angel while Strickland asks if we’re living in a simulation before closing leads that have sludgier overtones. A blunt force trauma in “Pigs” creates tension while keeping the flow of the album neatly. As you can imagine, it’s a cut about the abuse of power in the Police force and that message is delivered with suitable hate fueled sentiment. “Blood On Your Hands” has an off drum sound in the opening salvo with the cymbals sounding a bit distorted but it doesn’t detract from the menacing Groove Metal riffs with obvious Slayer influence.
“Institution” continues that flow with a bit less of the hell for leather approach and a bit more Groove Metal control, the down shift in tempo for that final breakdown slow headbang moment being sheer class. That allows the opening of “Wrath” to become a sucker punch as it bursts into life before slowing up for some classical old school Metal touches. Hell may well hath no fury like a woman scorned but in Deface, it has a band who want to take the last breath away from their enemies. Don’t cross them. A political speech sample from John F Kennedy in April 1961 is underpinned by a menacing melodic soundtrack that bursts into some heavier riffs at the midway point of “Hate”, a track that at just over seven minutes is the longest cut on the album and a real piece of vitriolic hatred against the media. It’s a powerful and we’ll thought out message delivered as effectively as a bullet to the head. It’s false ending is a masterstroke and ends the album with a stand out moment [7/10]
Paint The Walls Red
Sever Thy Tongue
Slashing The Veil
Blood On Your Hands
“Born of Hatred” by Deface is out now and available over at bandcamp