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Wreck Defy - Remnants of Pain

Wreck Defy
Remnants of Pain
by Jack Harding at 01 October 2019, 12:11 PM

I have never reviewed a band like WRECK-DEFY before. Obviously I’ve reviewed mediocre Thrash bands before, but none as incredibly odd as this. Every facet of this band confuses me to my very core. Take the album art for this release “Remnants Of Pain”. Ignoring the actual art, which looks chopped together by a toddler on Microsoft Paint, even the album title is off-center. Now this may sound like a stupid thing to fixate on, but then you realize that WRECK DEFY contains ex-members of bands such as TESTAMENT and ANNIHILATOR. How a band with ex-members of Canadian Thrash loyalty can be in the same band that can’t even use a set square on their album art truly baffles me. This confusion continues when you actually listen to the album itself. Whilst there is indeed old-school Thrash Metal in abundance here, there are also Glam Rock ballads, such as “Looking Back”, “Angels And Demons,” and “The Divide”. This results in an album that feels like the musical equivalent of Bipolar disorder, as the album flits back and forth between disparate genres.

Angels And Demons” feels like an attempt to forge a coalition between Thrash Metal and this Glam Rock edge, but it certainly does not work. Whether with its unimaginative guitar parts, rough section transitions or prominent vocal processing, everything about this song irritates to the point of tedium. Unfortunately, the actual Thrash Metal songs on this album aren’t much better. “Art Of Addiction” is a monotonous dirge, devoid of dynamics, “18oz Of Chrome” drags on for 7 minutes despite running out of ideas after 2 and “Blackened Cloth”… I don’t know where to start with “Blackened Cloth”. The song deals with the subject of the child sex scandal within the Catholic Church, even starting with a sample of a news report. Hardly an original topic (or particularly relevant anymore - given that it all came out in 2001), but a powerful topic never the less. Unfortunately however, any serious point made is completely undermined by the tone of the track. Bands like SLAYER can talk about sensitive topics like this, because their music doesn’t feel like a celebration. Their music feels unnerving, sinister and reflective of the topics they are discussing. This track, and “Broken Peace” which discusses pedophilia, both have the air of driving anthems, and thus completely undermine any profound point they dare make.

This record is 70% boring Thrash Metal, 30% awful Glam Rock, but 100% a mistake. However, such a confusing train wreck, slightly manages to summon a smile from me. The disaster laid before me is so bewildering, that it evokes a morbid fascination. Could this be the “Plan 9 From Outer Space” of Metal? Oh wait… No. “Lulu” by METALLICA exists. I guess this album will have to settle for the title of generic nonsense.

Songwriting: 4
Originality: 4
Memorability: 4
Production: 4

2 Star Rating

1. Killing The Children
2. Broken Peace
3. Riverview
4. Looking Back
5. 18oz Of Chrome
6. The Divide
7. Art Of Addiction
8. Angels And Demons
9. Blackened Cloth
Aaron Randall - Vocals
Matt Hanchuck - Guitars
Alex Marquez - Drums
Greg Christian - Bass Guitar
Record Label: Inverse Records


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Edited 12 August 2020

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