A wandering nomad since his departure from Nevermore, Chris Broderick not only found solace in Megadeth but met his new partner in crime, Shawn Drover. Their exodus from Megadeth is widely acknowledged, wanting to spread their creative wings further the two formed their aptly titled Act of Defiance. Releasing debut album Birth and The Burial the band went on an extensive touring schedule in promotion of the record. Returning now with their sophomore effort Old Scars, New Wounds the band are once more proving their not quite done yet.
Straight out of the mid twothousands Metalcore pack, “Overexposure” sees Brodericks’s guitar work put forward. Moving into an almost Swedish Melo Death vibe that would have fans of Soilwork jumping for joy it’s a bouncy anthem. Created in the same vein much of the material follows a similar pattern, verse, chorus, verse. Lending the record a quality that means it’s hard to differentiate from tracks at times but Broderick’s guitar work is unequivocally at its best here.
“Broken Dialect“, follows a Black Clouds and Silver Linings-esque Neoclassical sound, with some serious guitar acrobatics to satisfying the technical fans yet “Lullaby of Vengeance” sits firmly in the groove category of songwriting. Able to combine these two elements, the guitar work here is undoubtedly one of the biggest highlights. Perhaps a slight hangover of their classic Thrash days “Reborn” recalls melodies more akin to their previous musical skin. Despite this, the album isn’t short of energy. After it’s imperial introduction a shot of adrenaline is mainlined straight away in “MIA“.
Working on different levels, lead singer Henry Derek’s vocals often become part of the background owing to the musical acrobatics on display. Final track and one of the longest on the record “Rise of Rebellion” begins with acoustic guitar before a wall of distortion appearing hearing gorgeously placed tinkering on ride cymbals. To say that Old Scars, New Wounds would be a bad record would be false. Perhaps not the revolutionary record the band might have put out, it instead treads its own ideological water. Don’t get me wrong, Act of Defiance are very good at what they do but for those seeking perhaps something a little more engaging you might be left feeling a little lacklasture. A solid effort nonetheless.