By Dr. Abner Mality

With the cover of "Warface", England's Def Con One manage to unite three of the biggest cliches of heavy metal...skull, radiation symbol and gasmask...into one image. Unfortunately, that gives you a pretty good idea of the level of thought and originality that went into the record concealed by that cover. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it's unlikely that a more blatant Pantera ripoff will be released this year.

Everything about this record screams half-assed...the incredibly well-worn and uninspiring groove metal riffs that make tunes like "March of the Dead", "Blood" and "10 Bullets" sound like throwaways from Pantera's "Vulgar Display of Power" recording sessions, the weak vocals of Davey Meikle, the sappy attempt at doing a "Cemetary Gates" type ballad visible on "Too Cold". It's the sort of stuff that legions of Pantera/Lamb of God knock-off are producing. I know in my own hometown, there are at least three or four bands basically playing the same riffs, writing the same lyrics and and playing to the same crowds of tattooed skinhead guys with Tapout shirts and wallet chains as Def Con One. There is a way to do this kind of derivative music and make it work, but DC1 has no clue what it is. The attempt to do the same kind of super high pitched squealing guitar solo that Dimebag was known for on "In Death" is audacious but not impressive.

Not even the presence of ex-Venom drummer Antton can move "Warface" from the landfill. Far too much stuff like this out there...most of it should disappear.