Perhaps some of you are familiar with Defeater’s modus operandi. For those who aren’t, Defeater is a concept band from Boston and all their songs relate to a fucked-up family in post-World War II New Jersey. Abandoned doesn’t focus on the family, but instead a periphery character, a priest who makes an appearance on a song on their first album Travels. The priest is a WWII vet and the eleven songs explore his experience after the war and losing his faith. Musically, the band is still playing melodic hardcore, but the lyrical content strikes really close to me. Losing faith is something that seems trivial to people who haven’t experienced it, but it’s life-altering for those of us who have endured it. Guilt, doubt, and hopelessness are strong emotions that appear in the lyrics and Derek Archambault’s throaty yells emphasize the depth of the experience the priest undergoes over thirty-four minutes. Besides Archambault’s great vocals, the drumming is also worth mentioning. Joe Longobardi is a monster on the drums and there were moments I was blown away by how tight his playing was. Defeater hasn’t ever put out a bad album, and not only is this not a bad album, it’s easily their best. It’s intense, moving, and thoughtful, and worth checking out for any fans of melodic hardcore.
–kurt (Epitaph, epitaph.com)