Reviews: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Defyance - Transitional Forms
   
Musical Style: Power/Progressive Metal Produced By: Defyance & Matt Bell
Record Label: Nightmare Country Of Origin: USA
Year Released: 2002 Artist Website: Defyance
Tracks: 9 Rating: 80%
Running Time: 52:47
Defyance - Transitonal Forms

Following the release Amaranthine and Time Lost in 1996 and 1999 respectively, Defyance returns with a very fine third full length effort entitled Transitional Forms in which it backs elements of power and progressive metal with well crafted songwriting and solid musicianship.  Defyance recruited the talented Lance King (Pyramaze, Avian & Balance Of Power) to handle lead vocal duties, King contributing a strong performance with his abundant classic tenor voice.  Marcus Peterson and Brent Scott form a capable guitar team characterized by a plethora of tight sounding dual guitar harmony and lead guitar work.  The rhythm section of drummer Doug Beary and bassist Aaron Bell furnish just the right amount of rapid double bass and steady bass lines.
 
The refined production values of Transitional Forms features smooth sounding sonics allowing for just the right amount of polish.  A crisp sounding rhythm guitar stands alongside a clean mix of lead guitar.  The albums low end sounds full and heavy.

Lance King contributed lyrics to 8 of the albums 9 tracks, the lyrics in question being clean, positive and reflective of a Christian world view.

An edgy rhythm guitar backed by double bass introduces "Connection", the two impelling the song in a fast paced manner until it peaks for a strong melodic flavored chorus backed by vocal harmonies.  Peterson and Scott carry a minute long instrumental passage with a very well done lead and rhythm guitar trade off.  "Connection" deals with looking to God for forgiveness and direction in life:

Now- inside the lies
I struggle to find
A balancing line
And I- I pray to God
Atone form my sins
To help me find my own way

A near perfect blend of rhythm guitar and piano carries "Passing Of The Night" over its first thirty seconds before the rhythm guitar drops from the mix.  Once a piano blend of piano and double bass takes the song through its first and second verse, the rhythm guitar returns and leads the way to an upbeat chorus supported by more double bass.  Peterson and Scott contribute nearly a minute of stylish dual lead guitar work.  "Passing Of The Night" talks about seeking God in our time of need:

This 3 by 6 foot cell
I'm down on my knees
I lift my voice in prayer up to my God
Hearken unto me
Cast me not away
Send your angels, Lord
To set me free

Embarking to a punchy bass line, "A Force To Face My Fears" picks up in pace as the rhythm guitar moves to the front of the mix.  The bass guitar returns to underscore the songs first verse and rhythm guitar the second before a touch of double bass propels it to a good emotionally charged chorus.  As its title implies, "A Force To Face My Fears" describes how love is the force allowing us to face our fears:

Love- a force to face my fears
Lasting through the years
Love- is always worth the cost
Love- a force to face my fears
Lasting through the years
Love- is never really lost

Following an acoustic guitar solo and a minute of slowly played lead guitar work, King states, "I search my mind and your face I find".  A fast paced double bass driven guitar solo ensues.

"Silent Tears" slowly fades in until it picks up in pace as the rhythm guitar moves to the front of the mix.  After an acoustic guitar accentuates the songs first verse and rhythm guitar the second, it reaches a sweeping double bass driven chorus.  A combination of acoustic guitar and crunchy rhythm guitar transitions to a piano solo before Peterson and Scott dual on lead guitar.

A crisp rhythm guitar backed by a punchy bass line opens "A Notion" before it slows to a piano at the start of its first verse.  As "A Notion" picks back up in pace, the rhythm returns to the front of the mix and conveys it to a chorus carried by King's soaring vocal delivery.  An instrumental passage featuring several seconds of tight sounding rhythm guitar harmony helps take the song past five minutes.

"Fire Of The Ancients" stands out as this reviewer's favorite track off Transitional Forms.  Subsequent to an exquisite blend of acoustic guitar and keyboards initiating the song, the rhythm guitar kicks in and drives it at a mid-tempo pace to a chorus with a catchy refuse to go away hook.  A blend of rhythm guitar harmony and sharp lead guitar work highlights the instrumental passage of a song featuring some of the albums strongest lyrics:

Can you see the light that guides you
Can you feel the hands of love
Let them mold you
Will you know the heart that bleeds for you

Feel the fire, let if warm you
Taste the angelic bread that sustains you
Will you see the Lamb once slain
Behold with new eyes
Will you know the heart that bleeds for you

Commencing to a crunchy rhythm guitar blended with a bit of lead guitar, "Just Beyond My Sight" slows upon reaching its first verse.  As the song regains its momentum to a touch of double bass, it picks up further in pace for a smooth sounding chorus delivered at an upbeat tempo.  A combination of rhythm and lead guitar carries a minute long instrumental passage.

A blend of acoustic guitar and keyboards slowly carries the classy ballad "Never Fade Away" to a stylish melodic flavored chorus.

The eight minute epic "Tied To A Wheel" begins to a mix of keyboards and acoustic guitar before the rhythm guitar steps forward and helps to propel the song over its first three minutes.  After the rhythm guitar fades from the mix, an acoustic guitar bolsters the songs first verse before the rhythm guitar returns and takes it to a chorus interlaced with a touch of acoustic guitar.  An edgy rhythm guitar carries a forty second instrumental passage.

Transitional Forms stands out as a consistent effort from front to back in that each of its nine tracks hold up under continuous play.  At the same time, give Defyance a great deal of credit for the confidence it displays in its instrumental sound and the strength of its musicianship.  Lance King's high quality lead vocals only add to the albums appeal.

Review by: Andrew Rockwell

Track Listing: "Connection" (5:19), "Passing Of The Night" (4:55), "A Force To Face My Fears" (6:47), "Silent Tears" (6:34), "A Notion" (5:16), "Fire Of Ancients" (5:27), "Just Beyond My Sight" (5:20), "Never Fade Away" (4:06), "Tide To A Wheel" (9:00)

Musicians
Lance King – Lead Vocals
Marcus Peterson – Guitars
Brent A. Scott – Guitars
Aaron Bell – Bass
Doug Beary – Drums

Guest Musicians
Matt Bell - Keyboards

Also Reviewed: Avian - From The Depths Of Time, Balance Of Power – Perfect Balance, Pyramaze – Melancholy Beast, Pyramaze - Legend Of The Bone Carver, Shining Star - Enter Eternity

 

Reviews: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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