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3 out of 5 skulls
January 14, 2010 |

Defect Designer Wax

Much like the progressive technical death metal tag Siberia’s Defect Designer thrive under, their debut album Wax will leave you in one of two places mentally — exhausted or geeked out. In other words, you’ll either love ’em or hate ’em. I’m more of a middle of the road kind of guy with this stuff, but I can appreciate some of what they are trying to accomplish on this album.

Off-kilter timing and splintered song structures fill the album with loads of technical wizardry and spazzy chaos almost to a fault. That said, the dueling guitar work throughout the disc is pretty damned impressive, as is the drumming. One minute you’ll be hanging out chill in a steady groove and bombarded by barbaric death metal blasts the next before settling into some wacky jazzcore rhythms. Vocally, the lead growler’s delivery comes across a little monotonous at times. Sticking mostly to a mid-range growl, the vocals do stretch out here and there to higher end screams and deeper, more guttural gurgles, but for the most part are pretty standard.

Composing the End
The opening instrumental is a bit misleading in a way, filled with groovey guitars, technical flourishes and decent, yet restrained riffing. It’s got a few small elements in common with the rest of the album, but just has a really chill feel about it.

Stillborn
“Stillborn” gets things off to a burly start with thundering drums and deep, raspy guttural vocals. This five plus minute song is chock full of technical tempo shifts, pummeling rhythms and plenty of guitar standout moments. That all said, this is one of the least spazzy songs on the album, although there are some odd ball screams and noise that peppers the song here and there. Overall, this is a chugging beast of a song that fits nicely in the death metal genre. The lead at 4:00 is pretty sweet if not short lived.

You Are No More
I love how this next song builds up to the galloping, yet technical drum work as the vocals come in. The guitar work is bludgeoning, yet has a nice progressive, open feel to them. The cadence in the vocal delivery helps break up the monotony of the mid-range growls. There are some nice machine gun like blasts from the drums while melodic guitars weave in the ari above them. Not a bad song. This one gets more complicated as the song progresses to it’s bruising finale.

Unsorted
“Unsorted” doesn’t waste much time building to the vocals as a more open, progressive groove dominates the song early on. This song plunders along a course of bruising riffs mixed with nicely timed tempo shifts along with rock influenced guitar work. I also dig the bass work that rumbles in the background.

Defamation
After keeping pretty steady and restrained with the technical aspect of their music, Defect Designer let loose with a bit more of a progressive structured song with plenty of elements thrown into the mix. It’s once again got the rabid shrieks in the background which, this time around, give the song some nice depth. For all the stuff going on within “Defamation,” there’s still enough groove to easily head bang along to.

Almost Ready
After a lighter bit of guitar work, we’re greeted with a series of sweet riffs that are full of groove and catchy as hell — the kind of shit I’d blast heading to a beach, which is odd for group of guys hailing from the frozen tundra of Siberia. A highlight throughout the song is the chunky bass that sits behind the churning riffs and steady vocal work. This song also has some of the more memorable guitars around 3:20 that are anthemic in nature — I’d love to hear more of those.

Heads
Reverb and big riffs get this one underway with thundering drums and decent growl before settling into a chugging groove punctuated by guitar squeals and rumbling bass. The gtrading uitars at 1:23 feature some sweet noodling. After a decent set of blasts and riffs, the guys come back just before the three minute mark with a little guitar wizardry before descending into a churning mosh to end out the song.

Vegetable
“Vegetable” is a sweet, galloping track with a bit of a metalcore edge to its overall feel. There’s still some twangy bass that pops up here and there, but for the most part this is one of the more tame songs in terms of technical explosions. The riffing still has a progressive feel, as does the sick lead around 1:30. For a relatively young band, these guys have some serious chops, as seen on the trading leads that stretch from 2:30 to bout 3:10.

Choice Cuts
After a bit of light bass this one explodes with a fury not really experienced thus far in the album. The aggressive nature of this one is a nice change of pace, even if it’s still chock full of technical and progressive elements. It’s got a bit of a chaotic presence that shows these guys can step out of the melodic groove and into the shoes of destruction. I’m digging the staggered mosh after the two minute mark.

Forms of Illusions
The guitars that start off “Forms of Illusions” set a chill atmosphere that’s suddenly and violently torn from your mind by burly riffs and pummeling drums after a great build up over the first minute and twenty seconds or so. Lots of guitar variations and spastic drumming dominate this the remainder of this track. It’s actually pretty surprising how much these dudes pack into five minutes worth of music without becoming too overdone or stagnate. The ebb and flow is nicely timed and well executed.

When Your Face Doesn’t Melt Snowflakes
I’m assuming that the title of this next song is an alliteration to being dead, but that could just be me. The guitar tones on this one are melancholy and somber over the first 50 seconds or so before some interesting picking arrives along with manic blasts from everyone in the band. This is a violent, dark ride into the schizophrenic mind of a rapidly cooling corpse — meaning, it’s all over the place.

Indemnity
The final song has plenty to get into with sweet, groove oriented riffs, technical flourishes and thick bass work. It’s a decent track, but not the most impressive an album that has been pretty damned enjoyable to say the least.

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Additional Notes:
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