Defecto – Nemesis (Black Lodge Records)Sunday, 11th March 2018
It’s always helpful to receive a ringing endorsement from trusted musicians – or in the case of Danish progressive metal band Defecto, early Metallica producer Flemming Rasmussen. Forming in 2011, they’ve released an EP and Excluded full-length, supported Metallica in Copenhagen last year, and spent time working on the follow-up Nemesis which garners interest from Black Lodge on the label front. After a few passes, it’s clear to hear that the four-piece incorporate numerous bluesy and heavy metal influences against their semi-progressive stance, keeping their songs much more down to earth while allowing the interplay and elevated musicianship passages grow organically.
Given guitarist Nicklas Sonne as the main vocalist plus proper support from fellow guitarist Frederik Duus Møller and bassist Thomas Bartholin opens up wondrous, alluring multi-part harmonies – to the point of AOR/modern rock catchiness during commercially-enticing cuts like “The Nameless Apparition” (featuring a bombastic keyboard workout during the lead break from drummer Henrik Been) or uplifting/ California sounding “Gravity”. The shredding action never overshadows the heads down riffing, as it’s obvious the band love the black album Metallica period just as much as showing affinity for Dream Theater, Symphony X, or left field surprises like Devin Townsend and Alter Bridge. Between the steady march crunch for “Endlessly Falling” on through to the acoustic/rainfall additions to a more drawn out, epic arrangement such as 7:16 “Ode to the Damned”, these musicians use every tool and skill set to paint the proper ideas in full context – making the material dynamic and interesting with each successive playback. Worry often sets in when records push past the 40-45 minute mark, but throwing in a more cyber/extreme element through the spacious keyboard tones and extreme screams helps a latter half effort like “We’re All the Enemy” give the record an energy uplift, keeping Defecto progressive and showcasing an ear to the underground as well.
Danish metal bands have made a strong impression through the years – Mercenary, Anubis Gate, and Manticora three of many that garner critical acclaim for their approach and carve out decent fan bases. Defecto has all the requisite talent, execution, and songwriting abilities to join these acts based on the output of Nemesis, especially if you want an amalgam of modern rock/AOR aspects to a heavy, progressive metal band.