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Defender, Redeemist by Behold! The Monolith
Released: Jan 2012
Label: Arctic Forest Records
This thrashy, doomy, mucky, extremely heavy L.A. trio heads plenty of directions, sometimes all in the same song. Vocals range from Celtic Frost punches-in-the-gut to Kylesa shrieks-from-the-rafters to your usual ugly Lemmy-via-death-metal upchuck; the riffs can be chewy as pine tar; and there are synthesized spans of free space. But the building blocks often seem randomly assembled, and only "Witch Hunt Supreme" -- which starts out as a high-speed prog-chops demonstration, then doggedly breaks down a "Smoke On The Water" riff to its component parts -- leaves a huge lasting impression.
CHUCK EDDY

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