Def Con One – II (Scarlet Records)

Sunday, 9th February 2014
Rating: 5.5/10

The most visible aspect of Def Con One is that of drummer Antton Lant (Venom), but don’t expect anything along those lines here.  Def Con One play modern metal that owes much of it’s sound to that of Pantera and Machine Head, with a little Lamb of God on the side.  There are also elements of hard rock and hardcore infused as well.  Essentially, Def Con One play ‘bro metal.’

There is plenty of southern-fried groove to sink your teeth into, which is the band’s strong point.  Openers “H8 Ball” and “Broke” lead off strong with some simplistic yet undeniably catchy riffs.  The disc actually ends on one of the better riffs if you wait past the lull at the end of “Drag Me to Hell.”  While there isn’t much originality to the riffing structure, it certainly gets the job done in the end.  Unfortunately, the screaming vocals that accompany these sections are woefully generic and lack the necessary power to make the music feel urgent.

When the band tries to be more melodic (in the commercial sense), like the opening of “Soul Possessed” and “Die Again,” the melodic vocals that are used just are not strong enough to carry the band.  The vocals just seem too nasally when upfront in the mix.  There are other moments when the clean vocals work, like later on in “Soul Possessed” at the chorus or during “Debt to Society.”  Generally, the clean vocals work better when the guitars are heavier to blend with them.

Overall, the inconsistent vocals and solid yet generic riffs keep Def Con One from really reaching their goals with II.  There is potential in the band moving forward if they could put their own spin on the tracks, but for now, unless you are a huge fan of Pantera or other like-minded groove material, it’s safe to say you can skip this one.

Def Con One official site