Review by Sonny for Critical Defiance - The Search Won't Fall... (2024) Review by Sonny for Critical Defiance - The Search Won't Fall... (2024)

Sonny Sonny / April 02, 2024 / 0

Critical Defiance are back with their third album in five years, looking to cement their position as one of the most kick-ass thrash bands in the world. Hailing from Valparaíso, they have been forged in the furnace of Chile's white hot thrash metal scene. This time around main man Felipe Alvarado has secured the services of guitarist Nicolás Young following his departure from Demoniac, joining fellow ex-Demoniac-er, drummer Rodrigo Poblete who has been a member of Critical Defiance since 2018 and has appeared on all of their albums to date.

The Search Won't Fall delivers on all the aspects of thrash metal we have come to expect from the chilean scene and Critical Defiance particularly. Hi-octane, thundering tempos and a blackened edge adding extra visciousness, along with technically tight performances and great production values equals energetic and thrilling thrash metal that destroys almost everything the genre has produced since it's heyday back in the 1980s. I guess there could be an argument that they are a bit over-the-top with their supercharged riffs, heightened aggression and searing soloing, but I think they keep a lid on it sufficiently that it never becomes self-indulgent or out of control, but rather comes over as an exuberant and glorious celebration of metal. The playing is phenomenal with Rodrigo Poblete's work behind the kit worthy of particular praise due to his powerful and busy style that, despite the crazy tempos he is sometimes asked to keep, never misses a beat. With three guitarists the riffs are incredibly strong and, despite the tempo, the guitarwork always remains distinct and razor-sharp, never losing focus or descending into blurry chaos as other, less skilled, thrash practitioners are wont to do.

Very few bands can pull off this level of aggression and sheer musical velocity within a thrash metal framework as successfully as these guys and I know I am starting to sound like a broken record in this respect, but the chilean thrash scene has rarely failed to deliver on quality over the last few years. Bands like Critical Defiance and Demoniac are at last seemingly receiving the credit they have long been due and no longer do they have to watch from the sidelines while lesser lights take all the accolades. Anyone who thinks thrash metal died off in the early nineties are missing out massively if they can't move beyond their old Slayer or Megadeth albums and start appreciating the young bucks from South America who are storming the barricades with a vigour and passion long thought lost to thrash metal practitioners the world over. If an album like The Search Won't Fall doesn't get you excited about thrash again, then I suggest that the problem is yours and not theirs. Me, I'm holding on for sheer life and going along for the ride.

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