Guest review by Ilija Necovski of melodic hardcore band Carev Dvor.
Just two years ago, Boston, Massachusetts’s Defeater released their third LP Letters Home off of Bridge9 Records, a powerful and angry record to continue on with the storyline Defeater has become so well known for. In the short amount of time since that record we’ve seen Defeater find a new home at Epitaph Records, singer Derek Archambault released a monster of an album with his other band Alcoa, and he successfully had his surgery funded enabling him to tour once again.
We return now with Defeater’s brand new, Epitaph debut Abandoned, another continuation of their brand of moody hardcore. This time they follow the story of a priest who’s struggles throughout World War II – first being lead closer to faith but then much further away. The charm of Defeater’s Abandoned is how easily the record flows from song to song unlike Letters Home, Empty Days & Sleepless Nights or Travels although as a whole those albums do offer an enjoyable play through, this record feels like a record and not just a collection of songs. Easily Defeater’s softest work to date, Abandoned seems to be less of an aggressive hardcore record and more an ode to bands like Modern Life Is War. Songs like “Spared In Hell” and “Pillar Of Salt” still bring out the heavier, more aggressive side of Defeater and songs like “Remorse” and “Unanswered” will be instant favorites for new fans.
Some of Defeater’s most ambitious ideas come through on this record, such as the ending chorus on “Borrowed & Blue.” Also, we see the group straying away from a quick start to the album like the past three they’ve done for a rather restrained build up in “Contrition.” The album does tend to be a bit too repetitive with songs like “Contrition”, “Atonement”, and “Vice & Regret” seeming to long on until they fade away but I also found this repetition to be something good for the album. To explain, a good chunk of lyrics seem to be repeated throughout the album like the line “Forgive me my father for I am a sinner” and we see some references to past Defeater songs sprinkled throughout the record, I’m positive any longtime fan will notice them right away.
Overall, I really enjoyed the new album. It has a good mix of both older and newer Defeater styles and unlike other albums I’ve listened to by this band I find myself not skipping any songs on the play through, Defeater’s Abandoned is out now.