Our first introduction to UK electro/industrial duo Defeat came with their impressive Outbursts! EP, a release which marked the band as having the promise to be a prominent part not only national but the European industrial scene. Since that the release anticipation for their debut album has been keen to say the least but even that hunger fell short in expectation when finally feeling the might of [Seek Help]. The eleven track album is immense, a sinister and sizzling beast which whilst thrilling and igniting thoughts and passion still provides evidence that there is plenty more still to be discovered within the band.
Taking inspiration in the sound and area of music stalked by the likes of Nitzer Ebb, 242, Depeche Mode, and NIN, the pair of Anthony Matthews (Vocals) and Gary Walker (Synthetics) firmly gripped the imagination with their sounds and debut release, the album though shows the band has since taken a major leap forward not only in sound and composition but confidence and stature. Two school friends who from meeting were writing songs together, Walker and Matthews have realised the brewing strength and flavoursome imagination first indicated on Outbursts!, with [Seek Help], the album title incidentally the name of their first venture together, confronting the ear with enterprise and compelling provocative mastery. Seek Help the project, existed from 1992 to 95 with the duo playing several gigs before it came to an end, with Defeat emerging from its ashes with a new intent and flavour to the already existing and subsequently reworked songs. The EP, released as the album through Static Distortion Records, thrust Defeat to wide attention but the suspicion is that their album will see them on the fullest lips of attention.
The Hertfordshire based pair draw the listener into the album with In Vestri Genua Descendamus, a brief piece of dawning epic toned ambience and grandeur heralding vocal harmonies offering religious whispers upon air of cavernous magnificence whilst a seductive falsehood deviously leads right into the hungry jaws of Fear. The track flexes its muscles with a slowly opening swagger, melodic caresses firmly igniting the senses whilst the shadowed more rapacious spine of the introduction intimidates and seduces with equal voracity. Settling into an even pace with the wonderfully raw vocals of Matthews stalking the ear and prowling the lyrical venom, the track ignites emotive connections and flames of passion especially with its sonic eruptions around the chorus and the returning breath of church bred provocation. It is a stunning track which sets up the rest of the album perfectly though also puts the following songs under pressure such its early benchmark.
Not that Ripcord and Defeat struggle in that respect, both songs offering individual stances with full unity in their contagion. The first of the two initially sizes up the listener with predatory concentration, the pulsating dark shards of electro probing testing the waters before opening up its grip for the emotive ambience and shadowed breeze of the song to envelope ear and thought. With Matthews gently pressing forward the menace of the narrative within the evocative sounds of Walker, thoughts of Fad Gadget easily invade, the conjuring of dark beauty here as impacting and irresistible as in the hands of Frank Tovey. The track soon announces it is one which will not settle in one corner and explodes with a fiery caustic rub to further the danger and malevolence brewing within the shadows, whilst the Tubeway Army sonic teasing which breaks out also only enhances the adventure and pleasure. The following track raps on the ear with thumping sinews whilst a scintillating abrasion threatens to break free, its taunts and grazes within the coarse groove at play challenging the nerve whilst similarly grained vocals leave no atom untested. It is an uncompromising mix of beauty and beast like sonics, a ferocity lurking with rabid intensity just waiting its chance to feed but held in check by the potent melodic toxin pervading the track.
[Seek Help] does nothing but further impress as the likes of the toxic, lyrically and musically, Revenge, the brooding Tear Me Apart, and the insidious Wish You Dead, unleash their imaginative magnetic poison emotionally and excellence sonically. Though the latter pair do not quite rise to the heights set in place before them there is only the fullest satisfaction and hunger bred from their offerings whilst the outstanding Pedestal soon has the album touching the highest bar again. An industrial scourge honed into an immersive restraint of melodic and electro temptation, the track plays with passions and limbs like a satanic puppeteer, its control and insatiable fascination impossible to resist or not devour greedily.
Both Coffin and Cry At Your Funeral lay an appetising and inflammatory impression deep within inciting and stimulating thoughts and emotions before leaving closing song, the smouldering Scar, to waltz off with the last ounce of passion yet to be submitted towards the release. Released June 22nd, [Seek Help] is an album which sets the previous thought that Defeat ‘will become a major player in their genre’ in stone making it now a towering undeniable declaration.
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