Defeater might be the most interesting lyrical band in hardcore with each album revolving around the concept of following a New Jersey family in post World War 2 America. Abandoned follows a priest who is previously mentioned on the track Cowardice (from the album Travels). It’s a look at the struggles of being a person of the cloth who might not have ever believed in God to start with.
Lyrically, Abandoned is dark. The record’s about questioning the belief in God and vices and death. So of course it’s dark. But it doesn’t leave you feeling defeated (no pun intended) and depressed at the end of it. It’s still thought provoking and it’s a story that you’re paying attention to. And Derek Archambault employs this great tactic or reusing lyrics at various points in the record to connect themes together and draw your memory back to something earlier in record. It’s a well thought out record and a reason why listening to records start to finish with the lyric booklet is still important!
Musically the record reminds me of old school bands like Swing Kids and Refused. Hardcore that could just as easily be identified in that early 90’s post-hardcore, emo, screamo scene. All the while, it’s a sound that is popular and I’ve heard a handful of other bands going for the same thing. Being a hardcore band, but evoking that deep sense of emotion and being melodically interesting. And Defeater does it well and is the best I’ve heard at it.
Abandoned is excellent! One of the best heavy records I’ve heard all year. 5 out of 5 Stars!