CD Review: Defcon – ‘Flat Black Philosophy’

By March 18, 2010 September 27th, 2013 CD

Upon your first listen to this US-based foursome, a number of influences will spring into your ear. There are elements of electronic black metal within the haunting synths and beats ala’ Psyclon Nine, in the vocals there’s a sense of post-punk-style typical of innovators like Joy Division and even a tinge of The Sisters alongside more obvious classic influences like Fear Factory and yes of course, Front Line Assembly.

Flat Black Philosophy

As you can already imagine, this band draw from some of the greatest industrial and alternative metal bands in recent memory, but are they worth the hype. Uh, yeah.

Some of the main highlights for us include the album’s opening track, after a radio static intro, ‘Retch In Pain‘ kicks things off with a huge coldwave strike as blistering guitars and jackhammer drums work to evoke and pummel the senses without remorse. This one definitely has a wonderfully dark Skinny Puppy-vibe created by the visceral and haunting vocals provided by Brendan7, who also sounds just as vibrant and hard-hitting as FF‘s Burton C Bell on occasion. ‘Last Chance‘ is another album favourite of ours – this is pure and cutting industrial music with bussaw synths and vast progressive soundscapes that provide substance and serve to separate Defcon from the sub-par electronic rock acts of the moment.

Meanwhile, ‘Black Flame‘ is a much more metal-orientated affair – drums dominate on here while thrash-heavy guitars feed off of pulsating black metal rhythmes and 7’s varied and driven vocal range. The latter part of the album explores more melodic and progressive territory again – the group looks at much more complex and diverse sounds for the short interlude titled ‘Long Walk’ and then the deep and brutal-yet-affecting Front Line-meets-Strapping Young Lad-style track ‘The Flood‘, which was built for sweaty moshpits and big stages.

The album ends with ‘HELP’, which acts as a continuation of the previous beast. For this strong tune you’ll be engulfed by a bruising concoction of sound. ‘Flat Black Philosophy‘ is an intriguing and expansive album that seamlessly blends elements of electronic music and metal almost perfectly. Coldwave is back – it’s harsh, it’s heavy and you’ll love it.

For fans of: Front Line Assembly, Strapping Young Lad, 16Volt


For more information visit the official MySpace.