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(Album Review) CRITICAL DEFIANCE - No Life Forms (Unspeakable Axe Records)

Release date: July 18, 2022

Written by Jeff Tighe

No Life Forms is Critical Defiance's second full-length release since their 2013 formation. This 10 song, 29 minute effort from this Chilean unit is all thrash, all the time. Kicking off with the short, brutal and speedy "A World Crumbling Apart", these boys let you know out of the gates that no prisoners are going to be taken. Similarly, the second song, "The Last Crusaders...Bringers of Death!" is a punishing romp, but since it is a longer song (three and a half minutes) they manage to throw in some tempo changes and interesting guitar phrasings near the end.

But then we are back to the speed and pounding of "Altering the Senses". And so it continues. Speed and thrash riffs mixed with some interesting guitar work interspersed from the trio of Felipe Alvarado, Javier Arevalo and rhythm guitarist Mauricio Toledo. The solos and other work on some songs such as "Dying Breath" and the excellent instrumental "Elephant" for example are reminiscent of King and Hanneman from Slayer.

Drummer Rodrigo Poblete and bassist Ignacio Salgedo are up to the task of keeping up with the frenetic pace set by the rest of the band. Alvarado's English language vocals are of the harsh shouting variety which always goes so well with thrash, and while they are not the best vocals around, they don't detract at all.

The final song on the album, the title track, is the longest at about 5 and a half minutes and it is probably the best one. The length of the track gives the band some room to experiment with tempo changes and some more creative writing while still sticking to the thrash-until-death formula.

Solid stuff for any thrash fan.



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