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Review: Defiance - Void Terra Firma
Void Terra Firma

Label: Roadracer Records
Year released: 1990
Duration: 40:10
Tracks: 10
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: March 11, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating
Void Terra Firma

Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (8 Votes)

Defiance were one of a select few Bay area thrashers who went on to spawn a monster (by that, I mean producing a member that would go on to form or star in some terrible mallcore band, with the formation of Skinlab a few years after Defiance split being the unforgivable misdemeanor here). Anyhow, put that out of your mind for the time being, as Defiance are actually pretty worthy. This was the bands second release, and the first to feature their new mallco.. sorry 'vocalist' Steev Esquivel.

This album has that nasty, buzzsaw guitar tone stolen directly from Metallica's '..And Justice for All' album, but made even more snarling still thanks to the technical thrashy riffs being beaten out of their guitars at a rate of knots, pumping and blasting away like there's no tomorrow. The drums, courtesy of Matt Vander Ende are top quality, perhaps a highlight of the album (alongside the killer riffage of course), technical with great time changes and use of double kick drums in all the right places. However, where this album fails is… the vocals from our then soon to be mallcore hero. It's painfully obvious that Mr Esquivel isn't a vocalist, and should NEVER have been let loose in front of a microphone. I mean seriously, what were they thinking? The guy can't even pronounce words properly, slurring lyrics and fading out from moving away from the microphone at the high notes he can't quite reach. That said, he is actually better than their original vocalist believe it or not, but we won't even go there. I guess they just had a thing for terrible vocalists, and it's a real shame, because with the music on display here (especially in such stormers as Slayground, and the crushing title track), they certainly had it in them to create a true thrash masterpiece.

Ah well, you can't win 'em all. For what it's worth though, 'Void Terra Firma' is a hugely enjoyable and solid thrash album musically, so if you can overcome the detrimental shit-felching vocals, it's well worth a listen.

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