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Defiance: Insomnia

Defiance were one of the later bands to come out of the 80's Bay Area Thrash Metal scene, following in the footsteps of bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Testament, Forbidden, Exodus, and Death Angel. Insomnia is a 3CD box set released by Metal Mind Productions out of Poland, culling together the band's three Roadrunner albums, 1989's Power of Society, 1990's Void Terra Firma, and 1992's Beyond Recognition, all remastered with loads of bonus tracks, and a nice thick booklet featuring a historical essay, lyrics, and photographs. The band broke up in 1993 amidst the rise of the grunge era, but have recently gotten back together, making this set all the more relevant for release at this time.

You're going to need ample time to dig into all the music contained in this packed set. Not only do you get the three full albums, but there are quite a bit of bonus live and demo tracks pulled out of the vault, which makes for quite a set for the Defiance collector. For the most part, the music of Defiance is solid if slightly dated and familiar sounding 80's thrash. The first album Product of Society sounds very much like the early Metallica & Megadeth albums, with Ken Elkinton's vocals sounding very much like a young James Hetfield. There are plenty of inventive guitar riffs & solos, and although the production is overall kind of flat, there's a certain charm to these songs that is hard to ignore. Elkinton was replaced by Steev Esquivel for Void Terra Firma, and he has voice more in the Chuck Billy style, bringing a strong Testament feel to this album. The guitars are a little thicker this time around, but the innocence of the debut has been replaced by an all too familiar sound. It seems here, and on Beyond Recognition as well, that the band were trying too hard to incorporate what was working for bands like Testament, Exodus, Anthrax, and Overkill, and they lost some of their personality that made the first album so appealing. It's still solid thrash, with some raging guitar work, speed metal drums, and one anthemic chorus after another, but it just seems like we've heard this all before.

If you have any interest in the late 80's/early 90's thrash scene, this will be a no brainer to add to your collection. Insomnia documents a talented young band who probably came onto the scene a few years too late, and never really had the chance to build their own personality. It will be interesting to hear what the new line-up has to say musically after being apart for so many years.

Track Listing
1. Fault, The
2. Death Machine
3. Product Of Society
4. Forgotten
5. Lock Jaw
6. Insomnia
7. Deadly Intentions
8. Aftermath - (instrumental)
9. Tribulation - (instrumental)
10. Hypothermia
11. Hypothermia - (Bonus Track)
12. Aftermath - (Bonus Track)
13. Deadly Intentions - (Bonus Track)
14. MIA (Forgotten) - (Bonus Track)
15. Product Of Society - (Bonus Track)
16. Riff Raff - (Bonus Track/Live)
17. Matt's Drum Solo - (Bonus Track/Live)
18. Checkmate / Skits-Illusions - (Bonus Track/Live)
1. Void Terra Firma
2. Deception Of Faith
3. Questions
4. Skitz-Illusions
5. Slayground
6. Killers
7. Steamroller
8. Checkmate
9. Buried Or Burned
10. Last Resort (Welcome To Poverty)
11. Violent Remedy (Void) - (Bonus Track)
12. Skitz-Illusions - (Bonus Track)
13. Checkmate - (Bonus Track)
14. Deception Of Faith - (Bonus Track)
15. Checkmate - (Bonus Track/Live)
16. Drum Solo-Lockjaw - (Bonus Track/Live)
17. Fault, The - (Bonus Track/Live)
1. Killing Floor, The
2. Step Back
3. Perfect Nothing
4. No Compromise
5. Dead Silence
6. Inside Looking Out
7. Chosen, The
8. Power Trip
9. Promised Afterlife
10. Beyond Recognition - (Bonus Track)
11. Born To Kill (Product) - (Bonus Track)
12. MIA (Forgotten) - (Bonus Track)
13. Hypothermia - (Bonus Track)
14. Inside Looking Out - (Bonus Track/Live)
15. Tribulation - (Bonus Track/Live)
16. Void - (Bonus Track/Live)

Added: September 21st 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Defiance Website
Hits: 2705
Language: english

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