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In the center of the black. - 50%

GrizzlyButts, February 20th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2017, Digital, Independent (Amazon)

The second full-length from North Carolina brutal death metal band In-Defilade is yet another step back in time to the golden era of bands like Nile where the spectacle of death metal’s extremity outweighed the substance of it. In fact, In-Defilade’s ethos appears to have over-worked their sound into a corner of claustrophobia not unlike pre-‘On Strange Loops’ Mithras. ‘Elude’ is relentlessly noisy in it’s cacophony of blasting drum patterns and it all feels set in the competitive brutal death space of 2005 in terms of giving no quarter to nuance. You should immediately pick up on the riffing reminiscent of peak Nile because In-Defilade mastermind Jon Vesano helped shape their most popular moments on ‘Annihilation Of The Wicked’ and ‘In Their Darkened Shrines’. One could easily argue a heavy resemblance to that era of Nile within ‘Elude’.

The core of In-Defilade’s sound is Vesano’s riffing but the drumming is a bit more varied and powerful this time around as they’ve swapped in Erik Schultek who provided a similarly technical performance on Dallas Toler-Wade’s ‘also-Nile‘ side-project Narcotic Wasteland. The band also features a member of Vesperian Sorrow on bass and Toler-Wade provides signature solos throughout. So, In-Defilade is front loaded with musicians that really got their gig off working within the sphere of Nile‘s extended popularity. Though it sounds kind of trite to say, this type of death metal has been waning in popularity since 2007 because oversaturation of brutal death bands lead to competition among technical death metal bands, the trend that heartily replaced the lacking spectacle of blast beats and chug-acrobatics. As a result ‘Elude’ feels a little stuck on an old trend. Not that artists should give a shit what I think, at all, but there wasn’t a lot of substance within this type of death metal when Nile were doing it.

I never had a taste for this style of death metal beyond a handful of Polish and Brazilian standouts back in the day so take whatever I think with a grain of salt. I did enjoy the sort of melodic black metal inspired intro to “Make The Eat Glass” and the Kronos-like feel of “Apparent Adversary” but I feel like bands like Hideous Divinity, Inanimate Existence, and Sarpanitum have done such an amazing job of taking that brutal death sound and kicking it into the future that ‘Elude’ feels a few steps behind by comparison. You can tell a lot of hard work went into the arrangements and performances so don’t think I’m suggesting that this is a low-effort or low-quality affair, the style is just not really my gig unless it is done a certain way.

Attribution: http://grizzlybutts.com/2018/02/16/in-defilade-elude-2017-review/