Gradually building their fan base since their 2017 debut album, ‘With Might And Main’, British metal quintet Defences have gone from strength-to-strength over the years.
With the inclusion of a second vocalist, William Young‘s guttural screams compliment Cherry Duesbury‘s smooth cleans, and in turn the group expand their sound on their new EP, ‘Thoughts That Keep You Awake’.
Blending ambient soundscapes and juddering strings for ‘Upon Waking’, the introductory track not only serves as a taste of the record that’s yet to come, but its intimate nature is a stark contrast to the blistering ‘Shatter’.
Crunching guitars and Young‘s feral screams sit upon an unforgiving double-kick drum pattern before sinking into a wide and melodic chorus that Duesbury has honed since their aforementioned debut LP. All too aware of falling into a well-worn blueprint, the track jumps between both vocalists and dips in-between searing melodies and serrated riffs to keep momentum.
Following up with ‘What You Know’, the band embrace a more experimental sound, incorporating liquid pianos, grooving riffs, pulsing synths and gang vocals to deliver a track that isn’t afraid to explore. Whilst keeping to a simple hook, the quintet slip between moving elements with ease, culminating in a frantically paced bridge to drive the track home.
The same can be said for both ‘Over’ and ‘Wht U Knw’, as both tracks aim to move past the guidelines of metalcore. The former plays with rapid fire screams to punctuate skipping melodies, whilst the latter embraces drum and bass to reinterpret the heavier side of the group.
With ‘Things That Keep You Awake’, Defences have discovered and honed their sound. By straddling thick walls of sound and spacious melody, the group deliver a brand of metalcore that isn’t afraid to touch upon experimental soundscapes whilst retaining a sense of grit.