Less than a year after announcing their departure from Megadeth, guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover are set to unleash their new band Act of Defiance and their highly anticipated debut album Birth and the Burial for Metal Blade on the world.
After leaving Megadeth, Broderick had all these killer riffs leftover that were never used, so he a Drover got together with Shadows Fall guitarist Matt Bachand, who actually plays bass in the band and Scar the martyr vocalist Henry Derek to write and record what would become Birth and the Burial.
Maybe if Dave Mustaine had allowed the two of them more creative freedom and input into the writing process, the last Megadeth album may have made a bigger impact. No matter now, as Act of Defiance hit with the crushing impact of a moon sized asteroid and are equally as loud.
The album was recorded in 3 different studios in 3 different states and was produced by Chris ‘Zeuss’ Harris. It also features stunning a cover by artist Travis Smith.
Now being that some of these killer riffs were written with Megadeth in mind, you might expect tracks like “Thy Lord Belial” and “Disastrophe” to sound like the last couple of Megadeth albums, but you’d be dead wrong. They actually sound more like thrash veterans Testament, with the exception of “Poison Dream,” which sounds exactly like Megadeth. Just with better vocals.
Then there are songs like “Crimson Psalm” and title track “Birth and the Burial” that masterfully walk the thin line between both extraordinary bands. While the relentless double kick and shredtacular solo in “Legion of Lies” stands as some of Boderick & Drover’s most impressive and melodic work to date.
Elsewhere, lead single and video for “Throwback” is exactly that, a throwback in sound to everything that made 80’s thrash so damn good in the first place and Henry Derek’s vocal acrobatics on “Refrain and Re-Fracture” will make you swear you were listening to at least 3 different singers on one song.
While Matt Bachand may not be the first person that comes to mind when you think of badass bass lines, by the conclusion of heavy bottom ended tracks like “Dead Stare” and “Obey the Fallen,” he will be.
Here’s the bottom line. If fans knew these masters of metal had this breathtaking, absolutely void of filler masterpiece lying in wait, they would have wished for them to strike out own their own years ago.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10