Friday, March 07, 2014

Defyance-Voices Within (2014 Re-Release)

Minotauro Records

Originally self-released in 1992, with a 4-track self-recorded/self-titled (as Defiance, the first spelling before the apparent switch) demo having proceeded it by three or so years, "Voices Within" was the first "full-length" recording from Knoxville, Iowa-based Defyance. It's also the first of three new Defyance re-releases from the fine folks at Minotauro Records that I plan to cover (the other two being 1996's "Amaranthine" and 1999's (quite-brilliant) "Time Lost"). Formed by three teenagers in 1985 (guitarists Brent Scott & Marcus Peterson and drummer Doug Beary) and initially going by the (rather unfitting) name Fallen Angel, Defyance found two like-minded individuals to fill out their ranks in vocalist Brian Harrington and bassist John Parrish. Before long the group recorded their first demo, off of which three tracks ("Gypsy", which was an early favorite on local rock radio, "Love's a Bitch", and "Rebel Without a Cause") have been plundered for this collection. The forth track off of said demo was "Second Death", but seeing as the song was included on "Voices Within" we are treated to that version instead. And speaking of which, this is the first time that "Voices Within" has been made available to the public on CD! While there was 300 copies of "Voices Within" released on cassette and 30 copies did show up on CD in 1993 (as special gifts to a select number of people who requested them-both the original cassette and original CD are no doubt highly sought-after collector's items!) this really is the first time that the majority of Defyance fans will get the pleasure of hearing both the demo and "Voices Within". Considering the fact that both sets of recordings were made on a shoestring budget it is all the more impressive how well these songs have held up! Especially seeing as it is the 25th anniversary since this Iowa band first released a self-financed tape back in 1989! Since I'm approaching this first Defyance review of three from the view-point of someone previously familiar with their work (or at least the recordings after "Voices Within"!) it's easy-enough (especially in hindsight!) to hear this band's roots and then envision how this band was able to (naturally) evolve. While I don't want to give away too many spoilers here, let's just say that this young band would eventually reach the stand-point in it's (as far as I'm concerned far-too short!) career where all that was righteous about progressive metal came poring out of their hands! On these tracks the foundation is there although (enjoyably enough!) most of these tracks come across more like straight-ahead hard & heavy metal like the (early) Mötley Crüe-infused rocker "Devil's Daughter", "Goodbye" (with it's simply enjoyable Randy Rhodes' inspired guitar playing this one is nice even for a slower cut!), "Rebel Without a Cause" (solo Ozzy influence?) and "Gypsy" (more Rhodes' like guitar playing!). The power ballad "To Your Heart" actually recalls Queensrÿche at times while both "I Burn for You" and the excellent (religious-themed) "Second Death" sound as if they come from the all things loud & proud (Fifth Angel, Ozzy, Judas Priest, Accept, Iron Maiden and Grim Reaper) school of rock! All of these tracks, yes, even the early demo cut of (raw-rocker) "Love's a Bitch", show the promise of what's to come from this one-time heavy/power metal act that (like fine wine) simply got better with age! You can find out more about this re-release at Minotauro Record's website below or at the official website of Defyance right here:

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home