Review by Ben for Critical Defiance - No Life Forms (2022) Review by Ben for Critical Defiance - No Life Forms (2022)

Ben Ben / August 02, 2022 / 1

I think I've just been bitch-slapped by the gods of metal! There I was just a couple of weeks ago wondering whether I'd lost my love for thrash metal. Album after album has been disappointing in recent times to the point where I was left considering whether I was the problem. Thank fuck Critical Defiance came along to set me straight. This is how I like my thrash metal! This Chilean band have followed in the footsteps of some of the more intense 80s and early 90s thrash band, such as Sadus and Morbid Saint. There are riffs flying all over the place, and I can't tell you how happy I am that the production puts them right up front and in your face. Thrash metal has always been about the riffs, and Critical Defiance have given them the love and attention they deserve. The vocalist spits vocals out quite rabidly at times, yet balances that aggression with more controlled rhythms as well, creating an exciting yet palatable level of energy throughout. That said, the awesome mid-album instrumental (the somewhat paradoxically named Elephant) is probably the highlight for me, because it really lets the listener focus in on the band's strength (again, riffs).

The only real flaw here is that the band don't always make the most of all the goodies. While I do appreciate the 29 minute running time, some of the 10 tracks could have been given a bit more time to shine. Many of the best riffs come and go all too quickly, never returning until the listener inevitably presses play again. But I guess I can't have my cake and eat it too. No Life Forms is an exciting thrash metal release, crafted to get your blood pumping and certainly taking no prisoners. Song-writing takes a backseat to keeping the adrenaline going, and who am I to complain. This was the kick up the ass I needed!


2022 RANKING (59 releases so far)

20. Deathspell Omega - The Long Defeat - 4 stars

21. Critical Defiance - No Life Forms - 4 stars

22. Wiegedood - There's Always Blood at the End of the Road - 4 stars


2022 THRASH RANKING (11 releases so far)

1. Critical Defiance - No Life Forms - 4 stars

2. Schizophrenia - Recollections of the Insane - 4 stars

3. Nocturnal Graves - An Outlaw's Stand - 3.5 stars

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