Artist: Destroyer 666
Album Title: Defiance (LP version)
Label: Season Of Mist
This is the fifth full-length album from Destroyer 666, an Australian band playing black/death metal. Please note that this review is for the LP mix, NOT the inferior CD version -- I've reviewed that one elsewhere.
Those who've heard the washy, muddy, over-compressed CD version will be glad to hear that the LP mix is much, much better. The vocals and guitars are now up front where they ought to be, and the drums have been turned down accordingly. The overall volume has also been reduced, allowing the record to breathe a bit. The mix is still too crowded, so the lead guitar seems to drop out a bit when all the instruments are going at once (like at the end of "Blood For Blood" and "A Path To Conflict"), but this mix is still a huge improvement.
In terms of songwriting, my opinion hasn't changed much. These are good songs, squarely in the epic Phoenix Rising vein, but many of them aren't up to par for Destroyer 666. I really only get the D666 feeling from the last five songs, plus "Blood For Blood"... and even then, much of the riffing is not quite up to snuff. Now that I can actually hear what's going on, only the last three tracks have the exceptional depth of feeling I've come to expect from this band. The other songs aren't bad, certainly, but they're not on the same level, and putting them all up-front makes the relative weakness of the A side of the record difficult to ignore.
In short: this is Destroyer 666's weakest album by far. The last three tracks are more than worth the price for D666 completists, especially "A Thousand Plagues" and "Sermon to the Dead"... but at the end of the day, you'll get a lot more out of playing Unchain the Wolves, Phoenix Rising, or Cold Steel.
Standout Tracks: "A Thousand Plagues", "Human All Too Human", "Sermon To The Dead"