Written by: PP on 18/06/2016 12:43:47

Copenhagen-based heavy/progressive metallers Defecto have earned heaps of praise for their debut album "Excluded", which follows a successful self-titled EP in 2012. If you've had a chance to check that record out, the debut album is basically a continuation of its strengths. If not, Defecto is best understood as an amalgamate of the Massacre / Napalm / AFM Records rosters throughout the 90s and 2000s: Germanic heavy metal with majestic melodies and expansive soundscapes but very little that sets them apart from other bands in the same genre.

So does that mean they're boring? Quite the contrary. Since original sound is virtually a foreign language in heavy metal - especially within the grandiose and symphonic kind - it usually pays off to stick to a textbook expression and focus on your strengths within that context. For Defecto, it is their vocalist Nicklas Sonne, whose pipes I already praised on "Defecto" EP in 2012. He appears to only have gotten better, effortlessly filling the soundscape with far-reaching vibrato clean vocals, while also forging captivating melodies that are memorable beyond the initial wow-factor on, for instance, "When Daylight Dies". Instrumentally, the band falls more in line with dozens of other genre colleagues. You could start the list with Virgin Steele or Sacred Steel and continue it endlessly by following the "similar artists" thread on for these bands. There are literally thousands of heavy metal bands like this in the Germany / Austria / Switzerland region.

Sure, you can argue Defecto's expression to be more progressively inclined, perhaps comparable to Dream Theater or even Symphony X given its ambitious and dramatic soundscapes, and they do introduce a few growls in select moments and even a violin backed ballad on "The Final Transition", but it's not exactly original content from an instrumental perspective. That's my main complaint about "Excluded" in general - but such worries are silenced through songs like "Desperate Addict", which is as catchy as heavy metal gets. Stylish symphonic backing melodies complete a confident and triumphant heavy metal expression in this song with Sonne delivering his most memorable chorus melody, and we're even treated to a piercing guitar solo. Similarly, "Don't Lose Yourself" is another highlight if you like back-chilling vocal melodies and some well-timed growling as a contrast.

So what am I saying in this review? Defecto is basically a textbook heavy/power/symphonic metal band, but they play their genre with passion and dedication, and with considerable talent. They're like made for Wacken Open Air or any of the numerous heavy metal festivals in, especially, Germany. Reinventing the wheel isn't always necessarily as "Excluded" proves here.

Download: When Daylight Dies, Desperate Addict, Don't Lose Yourself
For the fans of: Dream Theater, Sacred Steel, Virgin Steele, Symphony X
Listen: Facebook

Release date 19.03.2016

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