Review: DEF-CON-ONE – Warface

As un-metal as it sounds, DEF-CON-ONE are a band that I hold dear to my heart. Not only were they the very first band I interviewed for this site, they were also a band that represented exactly what Dose of Metal is about. We at DoM always said that we wanted to support up and coming metal acts and promote new talented bands, and it’s great to see that one of the first bands we interviewed have been progressing immensely. In the one and a half years since we interviewed DEF-CON-ONE, the band have gone on to play the UK’s metal festival, Bloodstock, have toured extensively, have released a video and finally earlier this year, they released their debut album, Warface.

Once described by myself as sounding like old-school Burn My Eyes era Machine Head, but with a heavy Pantera influence, it’s time to see if DEF-CON-ONE‘s debut lives up to this hype. Make the jump.

DEF-CON-ONE – Warface

1. Never Look Back
2. March Of The Dead
3. Warface
4. Hold On
5. Blood
6. Stepped In Pain
7. 10 Bullets
8. Feeling Cold
9. My Halo
10 .Hit List
11. In Death
12. Give Me Strength _6&6_

Warface begins with the violent assault of opening track ‘Never Look Back’, and from that moment I never do. Antton’s compelling rhythm section and the groove of bass and guitars, coupled with Davey’s interesting alternation between growls and clean vocals make for a great, brutal start to Warface.

On the band’s debut offering, the quartet present a fusion of conservative groove stylings and crushing modern metal, solidifying the hype DEF-CON-ONE have gained thus far. With so many bands being influenced heavily by legendary metal act, Pantera, audiences can become disengaged and apathetic to the current metal scene, but DEF-CON-ONE demonstrate an ability to mix their influences with their own original take on aggressive music. The power imposed on the band’s music, Davey Meikle’s diverse vocals and the rhythmic tightness of the group supports the band in their captivating take on the metal genre.

When I interviewed the band back in late 2010, they cited influences ranging from Pantera, Machine Head, Alice in Chains to Lamb of god, Slipknot and Sevendust and these give a pretty good indicator to what DEF-CON-ONE are trying to achieve with Warface. What is impressive, is just how accurately the band capture their influences, while still maintaining their own creative vision. As a fan of Machine Head, Pantera, Black Sabbath and Down, DEF-CON-ONE manage to easily keep me engaged with an authentic re-imagination of the scene, with their own personality directing their sound.

Overall, the strength of Warface is in how great each track is, with no filler. If there is ever a low point, however, it would be ‘Feeling Cold’, which isn’t bad per-say, but just never quite works as well as it could for me. The almost-ballad has an interesting, dark acoustic introduction and verse, but something about it doesn’t quite fit the dynamics of the album. I’m not against songs like this and it does highlight the band’s ability to create a wide repertoire of metal, but it’s probably the weakest song on the album (which isn’t a bad thing, considering how brilliant each track is).

Highlights for me include the head banging catchiness of ’10 Bullets’, the brutal ‘March of the Dead’ with its quasi alteration between Pantera style groove and Alice in Chains inspired grunge, and the doomy ‘Give Me Strength 6&6’. Overall, DEF-CON-ONE may make their influences obvious on Warface, but they are careful to keep things diverse and never rip off the bands who inspired them. Those looking for a crushing new band, will want to check out DEF-CON-ONE.

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