Critical Defiance – The Search Won’t Fall… (Unspeakable Axe Records)

Monday, 18th March 2024
Rating: 9 / 10

Noteworthy as a South American band who literally push the pedal to the metal when it comes to thrash, Critical Defiance waste no time capitalizing on 2022’s No Life Forms album through this third studio record The Search Won’t Fall… With second guitarist Mauricio Toledo even more firmly in place, it appears that the group willingly expands their influences into a bit more blackened tremolo-induced direction through specific riffs/runs or energized blast beat sections – yet resolute in that speedy thrash foundation that got them acclaim in the first place.

These musicians understand the delicate balance between the creation of melodic hooks, runs, or riff sequences that are quite catchy / memorable, yet also throwing down some serious musical twists or extreme angles that put one foot firmly in the tenacious authenticity camp. Be it opening a song in a thunderous five-second drum solo before hitting into a straightforward thrash template for “Absolüt” or injecting blackened tremolo riffs next to classic early Metallica/Diamond Head-inspired parts on “Long Distance (The What’s to Come)” – the seemingly varied attack works wonders for edge of the seat thrills. Solo breaks contain dazzling displays of dexterity channeled into crazy runs where bends, tapping, or whammy bar dynamics add to the tools of manic destruction – check out “44 Minds” in this regard. Longer songs appear as the opening two tracks as well as the finale – fleshed out by a shorter, acoustic instrumental like “The Blind Divine” or the 84 second blasting bullet train outing that is “Full Paranoia”. Any band that makes a namesake song usually delivers something special. That’s what you’ll get for the almost ten-minute closer “Critical Defiance” – a modest supply of tempo shifts, killer dual rhythm runs, savage vocals, and just the right amount of melodic hooks that appease those into Sadus, Dark Angel, Megadeth, and Kreator.

Expanding their record to an ideal 45 minutes for vinyl sake (Dying Victims Productions handling that end of things), Critical Defiance is one of those acts that benefit from the knowledge of incorporating speedy thrash with blackened / traditional influences in that organic manner that just keeps your ears pinned, beckoning for more. The Search Won’t Fall… keeps the steady ascension in place, ready to assault stages far and wide to convert more metalheads in the process.

Critical Defiance on Facebook

[fbcomments width="580"]