Defamed hit with a vengeance on first release, ‘Circles.’
Is progressive-blackened-deathcore a thing? I have no real clue or care if it is but it sure sounds like Defamed are trying to make it happen! As their debut song, ‘Circles‘ is sheer brutality unleashed, with a ton of layers and a variety of different sections swirled in with their unrelenting style of heaviness. Basically, Defamed accomplish what Lorna Shore think they nail.
Defamed is made up of all former members from now-defunct deathcore group, Drown In Sulphur, barring their old drummer, who made a hostile takeover of all of that band’s social media accounts in 2019, ultimately killing their band’s activity. As for new left-handed drummer, Norman Ceriotti, they’re a sentient metronome, throwing together ghost-noted metalcore fills, savage blast beats, and hammering death metal drumming. (Let’s just hope he doesn’t mutiny this group like the old guy did.) The disgusting low-mid growls and filthy screams of frontman Mattia Maffioli are just pure power, with a wicked tone, all nicely complemented by the higher-pitched shrieks of guitarist Simone Verde, who even throughs in some cool, eerie little whispers for a varied new section at 1:30.
As expected for bands of this ilk, ‘Circles‘ is just go-go-go in terms of riffy, rhythmic and raging blackened-deathcore intensity, with more guitar strings than you can poke an Axe-Fx at. Usually, music like this bore me to tears, but I actually quite enjoy Defamed’s debut. They seemed to have cracked the code to creating something interesting and engaging for this genre right now, keeping the overwhelmingly brutal music to a merciful four-minutes in length, breaking it up with diverse passages, knowing just when to push the pedal and steamroll forward. There’s great ambiance and keys utilized, along with some epic-sounding choral harmonics that add real weight to this mental composition. Right up to that stomping, punishing breakdown finale when they bring back the intro’s sick djenty riffs.
It’s these details, while unoriginal for many bands like this, that Defamed execute so competently. Because while this is definitely paint-by-numbers for deathcore/death metal, Defamed pull it off very well on their first song as a confident new collective. Expect their debut EP to drop in 2020.