Boston’s most devoted and steadfast hardcore band, Defeater knows what it takes to remain credible in a scene where fans demand both unapologetic, in-your-face power and intense emotional honesty. For Defeater and their die-hard fans, this honesty is key, and with their Epitaph debut Abandoned, Derek Archambault (vocals) and fellow band members have created their masterpiece. Carrying on the narrative thread they have built across four previous albums, Abandoned is the band’s most powerful and uncompromising album to date, powered by a renewed sense of artistic ambition and a plot twist no one could have expected.
Defeater has never sounded more bleak and intense. The seething black-hole hardcore songs that served as finales “Cowardice” and “Bled Out” on Travels and Letters Home just barely touch the full-throated primal desperation on display in the first track here, and the momentary respite halfway through on “Borrowed And Blue” only makes the utter collapse that follows more punishing. This is the first album where the entire band was involved from the ground up, says Archambault, and that let Defeater push itself to a new level of discipline and depth.