Defecto – Duality Review

I’ve seen the question time and time again on any review below a 2.5. “Why even review this?” Well, there’s a bunch of reasons. An important one is, as soon as we pick a promo, we’re honor bound to review it regardless of quality. Oftentimes we don’t even know what we’re getting into, signing the contract over only the band name, album title and genre. A writer may start up a promising promo and have his head in his hands before the first minute is out, knowing he’s on the hook. That wasn’t the case with Defecto; I’ve reviewed the Danes before, to unspectacular result, and fully intended not to subject myself this time. But the band was brought up during our monthly meeting and the Emperor commanded me to pick up where I left off. Drat.

Not that Defecto is outright bad. Sure, radio friendly alt-metal in the vein of Disturbed or Avenged Sevenfold is not exactly a lofty goal, but when Defecto actually focus on that sort of music, they do quite well for the style. The first half of the album has quite a few pop metal bangers, in an overly polished, hyper-catchy sort of way. Opener “Rings of Saturn” could have been straight off A7x’s City of Evil, replete with carnivalesque tempos leading into infectious grandeur. “All for You” may be sappy, but it has a ton of energy, and “Condemned” actually sounds a bit darker, even including something approaching growls. Speaking of which, Nicklas Sonne possesses an enviable set of pipes. With a style reminiscent of both Avenged Sevenfold and Shinedown but without the nasality of the former and with better range than the latter, his vocals belong in a much better band.

Let me clarify. His vocals belong in a band that is not so obsessed with getting on the radio and TV, it has to further commercialize a sound that was basically boy bands with guitars 15 years ago. The first sign of this ugly tendency comes early, with the balladry of “Paradigm of Deceit,” which could make a died-in-the-wool 2002 emo kid cringe so hard his face turns inside out. For a while it seems like a fluke, but the back half increasingly leans on such dry heave inducing unpleasantry. The chorus of “Bed of Nails” practically copies Hoobastank’s “The Reason” which, if you don’t know, is a horrendously weepy shit sack of a track that was absolutely everywhere the year it came out, so I highly doubt Defecto didn’t realize what they were doing. “Washed Away” is a major key track with marimbas and EDM, emulating the worst of Imagine Dragons, and with “Don’t Say Goodbye” the album closes on another snivelly dud.

It’s frustrating, because considering the nature of its chosen genre, Defecto really is a bunch of talented guys. I’ve mentioned the vocalist, but even instrumentally the sense of enthusiasm and energy is sky high. The prime inspirations were all popular in the early 00’s and everything is polished to a mirror sheen, including the somewhat faceless pre-packaged production, so it certainly feels a bit plastic and a lot dated, but within that niche Duality is perfectly appreciable for its simple infectability and expert execution. In 2003, I would have definitely ripped the good half of this album to an mp3 CD to put in my “no skip”1 discman. But like Nemesis before, the bad half of the album totally ruins it for the good half. It’s just that whereas Nemesis flitted from good to bad and back all over the place, here there are some low brow fun songs followed by a few hardcore cringe-fests even a 14 year old wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole.

So there you have it, boss. I’ve done the review, just like you asked. I’m sure some readers will still ask why I did it even though I had every reason to suspect I wouldn’t enjoy it. And I’ll answer them the same as always. Now can you please let my family out of the skull pit? They’re running out of n00b flesh to eat, Little Timmy is just sucking marrow from bones now, and Alicia is looking more like a skeleton every day… Oh, the review still needs a conclusion? Okay, ehm… Defecto still has a silly name and could do much better if it didn’t write for radio viability. The last song is “Don’t Say Goodbye” but I’m gonna. Goodbye!

Is that good enough? …boss…?

Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Black Lodge Records
Websites: | |
Releases Worldwide: October 23rd, 2020

Show 1 footnote

  1. A filthy lie if there ever was one.
« »