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Defiler: Nematocera

There's a classic scene in the Chris Farley comedy Tommy Boy where he puts on David Spade's jacket and starts singing, "Fat guy in a little coat!" If one took that sentence and amended it to read, "Little guy with a big voice!", it'd be more or less equivalent to the same thing people have said about Defiler since they hit it (relatively) big with a now-infamous music video two years ago. The title of that song, "Cryomancer," is as fitting a description of the banal deathcore the band peddle in: like the portmanteau "Cryomancer," there's a lot of sonic hodgepodgery going on, all of it far too familiar. The only thing that sticks out uniquely about Defiler is lead singer Jake Pelzl, whose gutteral growls are an odd match for his youthful visage. There's a reason why the "Cryomancer" meme has spread so quickly, and it isn't because the song was a massively loved hit.

There's no humorous equivalent to "Cryomancer" on Nematocera, Defiler's debut for the Razor & Tie label—unless the ridiculously titled "Octobortion" really gets you—but the music is more or less the same. Deathcore, metalcore, and really any genre with "-core" as a suffix (save for hardcore itself) are all in a state of crisis, due in large part to the flood of generic bands that have made even good breakdowns feel routine. Defiler, unfortunately, fit all too well with this crowd, and despite their impassioned attempts to pummel the listener with djent dowtnuning, Nematocera is one hell of a boring listen. Clever attempts to co-opt movie references—the Anchorman jab "Brick Killed a Guy"—don't do much either, leaving one to wonder what exactly Defiler can do to make their sound stand out.

This isn't to say there's no hope. I count myself as no fan of deathcore or metalcore, but trying to reformulate genres that have stagnated isn't equivalent to dividing by zero; I keep my expectations low, but I don't rule it out as an impossibility in my mind. Defiler have a rare chance to capitalize on the web response they received, however negative it might have been, and having the power to laugh with instead of watch while everyone laughs at is a good one. Now, all that's left to see where this still-young group will go from here.

1. Lucky 38
2. Regulators
3. Octobortion (ft. Frankie Palmeri)
4. Movin' On Up The Nation's Chain
5. Brick Killed A Guy
6. Walk In The Glow
7. Subway
8. Elmo St. Peters
9. Iconoclast
10. Twinrova
11. Nuclear Anomaly
12. Metamora
13. Nematocera

Added: November 28th 2012
Reviewer: Brice Ezell
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1842
Language: english

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