The back story to the formation of Milan Italy based Deathcore quintet Defamed plays out like a thriller with vocalist Mattia Maffioli and guitarists Simone Verde and Max Foti forced out of Drown In Sulphur without their knowledge as drummer Domenico Tamilia took control of the bands assets and started over without them. They felt betrayed by someone they had called a brother, someone they hard worked with in the project since 2014. Fueled by that they formed a new band together with bassist Joshua Rocchi and drummer Norman Ceriotti, seeking to rise from the ashes like a phoenix and using the mantra that that living well is the best revenge, doing another band and doing it better. As a result, the hard work of Defamed now speaks for itself with pre-released singles “In Tenebris” and “Circles” achieving over half a million streams on Spotify before the EP landed.
Opening up with the Earth shattering “Abyss” that has shaded of Enterprise Earth about it being on the Death Metal side of Deathcore and steeped in dark atmospheres is a fine way to introduce yourself as a band, crushing riffs, seamless tempo changes and epic synths combining to crush and destroy all those in their path. Maffioli has always been a powerhouse vocalist and he knows how to deliver the kind of unclean savagery we were used to in his previous outfit, here he is fired up and furious, the lyrical venom knows no bounds. Title track “Aeon” cuts moments of Black Metal riffage and blast beats as it bulldozes its way across the terrain with no pause for thought of those who fall underneath the blade. The genre shifting within the song itself helps the band create the darkest of oppressing atmospheres and a tension that doesn’t let go and when Maffioli switches from Death Metal growl to shriller tones it lights the blue touch paper for breakdowns galore. “In Tenebris” sees another vocal shift with some pre-slam-isms brought to the table to augment the brutality. This isn’t heavy for the sake of it and its not straight Deathcore either with a killer DJenty breakdown turning this track from a beast into a monster in seconds. Don’t put water on the Gremlins.
The second half of the record sees arguably the most Deathcore track in “Wounds” take root with powerhouse chugs and rumbles given some synths and percussive battery to bolster them before “Circles” picks up and races away like Usain Bolt strapped with a nitro tank. Dark whispers and elongated “Blegh!” moments extend the haunting synth tones that Shadow Of Intent would be proud of, the destruction of a person builds character and that character has come back with a bloodstained knife and murderous eyes. Jagged angular riffs light up “Doves” which are more from the early Attila playbook but that’s about the only thing those two bands have in common, the nuances that the guitarists of Defamed have put in are far sharper and more poignant while the the Blackened Death Metal atmospherics are of another World entirely. There is no Party in Defamed, these are songs of Death and destruction. That is until “Gasolina“, a cover of the Daddy Yankee single reworked Punk Goes Pop style which isn’t on the EP but we’ve decided to include here as it was the bands debut release and introduction to the World. Heavy, full on brutality with a crunchy slamming center and some savage programming, it must be heard. Bring the bass drop! [8.5/10]