Def-Con One – Warface (Scarlet Records)

Monday, 25th March 2013
Rating: 6.5/10

Venom, and their various spin-off bands have not exactly been well-received by Blistering of late. Rightfully so – if one is looking for the most inoffensive-while trying to be-offensive music around, then look no further. While some still find some sort of inherent charm in the band’s juvenile, but admittedly phony brand of proto black metal, the fact of the matter is the obvious lack of musicality has come to bite modern day Venom, the Mantas-led Mpire of Evil, and the topic of choice, Def-Con One in the rear-end. Metal has totally passed these guys by…and it’s not even close.

Brandishing an unsavory Pantera-on-Godsmack sword, Def-Con One (who feature former Venom drummer Antton Lant in the ranks) create a messy racket across the 12 songs that comprise their Warface debut. Like every band tied to Venom, the metronome and cadence is a foregone conclusion, for these songs are as loose as a yokozuna’s waistband, all the while spewing forth some rather frivolous and banal lyrics – just check out “Never Look Back” and “Stepped In Pain.”

The quartet makes no attempts at masking their affinity for Pantera, with a surge of Vulgar Display of Power-ready riffs serving up the balance on “Give Me Strength.” Singer Davey Meikle does his best to play the tough guy role on “Feeling Cold” and “My Halo,” but his frothy bark and overbearance renders practically all of these songs tuneless. It’s like a Pantera cover band tried to record an album of originals, essentially.

Per the previous statement about metal passing the Venom crew by, it’s written all over Warface. Certain bands can get by with bare-bones elements and meat-and-potatoes ideas, but plays to reach out to the lowest-common denominator usually fall on deaf ears. Perhaps all of those years blasting away in Venom did some irreparable damage to Lant’s eardrums…

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