Defeater are one of those rare accessible concept bands that offer an interesting narrative while also delivering distinctive, memorable songs.
Balancing the darkly artistic and the aggressively raw, their fourth album is rich and precise without being over-polished.
Recorded after frontman Derek Archambault received life-altering surgery, the story is actually told from the perspective of a lapsed Catholic priest, and it’s a heart-wrenching struggle. Spared In Hell is an impressive example of the Boston band’s songwriting skills but it is Borrowed & Blue that wins the award for the most addictive track, with its enticing build-up, powerful chorus, and pleasing layers of backing vocals. That said, Abandoned was already set up to succeed thanks to the two exhilarating opening tracks featuring repeated, forgiveness-seeking roars and powerful melodic fretwork. Occasionally reminiscent of Boysetsfire in style, this is an honest, passionately crafted release that works on almost every level.