Album Review: Defiled – “Infinite Regress” 9/10 (Tech Death)

Written by Carcassbomb

  • Defiled
  • Infinite Regress
  • Tech Death/OSDM
  • Japan
  • January 24th, 2020
  • Season Of Mist
  • 9/10

Official Site / Facebook

I’ve always enjoyed Japanese metal, they just do it that little bit different and have a way of cutting through the huge amount of monotonous releases I hear each week. Infinite Regress is a well rounded album that is a smooth blend of old school death metal and technical death metal. It discards all of the new ideas currently circulating in tech death (such as the rise of deathcore and synth prominence) and focuses on bringing the old ideas into their framework of intensive mathy timing. The result is a pleasure to listen to as it sounds familiar but also grooves different. It’s well crafted. 

Artwork by Wes Benscoter

I don’t make music enough myself to fully grasp time signatures and the like, but when I speak of timing I mean Defiled’s ability to execute sudden and unified palm mutes and pauses as a band. The music doesn’t just constantly flow riff to riff, there’s interruptions and corruptions of the riffs. It’s a kind of a disassembly of great riffs that other bands would simply love too much to not let them play out for a minute at a time. It’s always moving and evolving, by killing their own riffs they create something monstrous and interesting. I’d love to see the mosh pit translation on this one, there’s room for windmilling and circle pits, but there’s also such sudden swings in tempo that I’m sure some people will be wondering what they are supposed to be doing.

The vocals are great, just where they should be on this record. Every time I expect vocals to enter the track they do so perfectly and they’re always what I want them to be. Guttural as fuck and capable of keeping up with the furious rhythms of the instruments. This is where a huge aspect of the OSDM comes through because the vocals are mixed in such a way that’s very mid tempo and pitch. They don’t come too forward unless there’s a specific line delivery that calls for a bit more clarity.

The lyrical themes deal heavily in societal control issues – There’s a lot of frustration about the general population being unable to see the completely fucked power dynamic that controls our lives and thus unwillingly becoming pawns allowing for the machine to progress. This is highly relatable to most places in the world, some more than others. The lyrics are written with only a couple of words per line to allow for the abrupt and forceful delivery of the lines. 

My favorite track is “Aftermath” which has some awesome bass play, particularly during a breakdown where the bass comes in with incredible speed and an usually high tone with short bursts of energy. This is a seriously tight album where each member contributes equally before being fed into the mixing process which handled their work well and has done them justice. Even when everyone is playing roughly the same thing, there’s quirks in the playing that make each moment count and worth hearing. There’s no discourse and no regurgitation, there’s just real fucking musicianship from a creative band. I’ve listened to it many times now and there’s no hint of Defiled running out of ideas, I half suspect a smaller release in the near future.

I’ve had my eyes on this one for a while due to the cover art circulating on the socials. It’s the right aesthetic for this sound with not only skulls but those sludgy toxic greens and blues. This piece was done by Wes Benscoter who has done a lot of cover work in the past, you might remember his work recently on Thy Messenger by Vader released in 2019. It’s his signature that finalises the album as a competitive death metal album in the current global metal arena, online and offline. 

Every facet of Infinite Regress is sturdy. I highly recommend it to any death metal fan, I’m a big fan of the Japanese underground scene and a new fan of Defiled.  

Photo by Shigenori Ishikawa


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