Defiance – Beyond Recognition (1992)
Beyond Recognition remains a technical thrash masterclass from the Bay Area’s Defiance and proved to be a fitting swansong to thrash’s heyday.
At this stage in their career, Defiance were now trying to out ‘heavy’ the likes of Testament – by way of fellow Bay Area brethren Heathen – and found themselves forging ahead in an ever more progressive thrash direction and proving seriously damn good at it!
“Inside Looking Out” entertained a decidedly warped take on typical chugging riffs (and featured vocal contributions from the aforementioned Heathen frontman David White) and the heady thrash-fest of “Promised Afterlife” rivalled Justice-era Metallica for complexity while remaining staunchly ‘heavy’. The remainder of Beyond Recognition’s tracks offered diversity, complexity and enough ideas to fill a further three albums!
Beyond Recognition is Defiance’s greatest achievement and one of the most impressive moments in 90’s thrash….even though it remains ironically unrecognised by those clearly not ‘in the know’. Of course, the rest of us recognise the moment when Defiance excelled themselves and if thrash hadn’t died on its arse in the 90’s, this outstanding album surely would have sent Defiance stratospheric!