Act Of Defiance - Old Scars, New Wounds album review

Technical, extreme metal that’s as versatile as it is hard-hitting

Cover art for Act Of Defiance - Old Scars, New Wounds album

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With their ranks being filled by ex-members of Megadeth, Scar The Martyr and Shadows Fall, thrashing quartet Act Of Defiance have been swarmed by hype since their 2015 debut, Birth And The Burial. Old Scars, New Wounds is a follow-up disc that dares not only to live up to the standard of its mighty predecessor, but also threatens to surpass it, its corpus comprised of an unhallowed union of thrash, metalcore and techy punishment. Shredlord Chris Broderick unabashedly shows off the true extent of his skills on the strings on entries Broken Dialect and Another Killing Spree, while the groove-laden Overexposure takes cues from melodic speed demons like Trivium. Frontman Henry Derek switches between grungy cleans and growls, balancing out the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it intricacies of Act Of Defiance’s skilled musicians, all of which make Old Scars, New Wounds an impressive trailblazer of an album.

Matt Mills

Louder’s resident Cult Of Luna obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.