Defyance - Transitional Forms

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Nightmare Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:47:00

Defyance are back with the long awaited follow up to 1999's Time Lost which got a bit of attention from melodic metal fans, especially after their surprise performance at the now defunct Powermad show (in Baltimore, MD). The band now consists of: Doug Beary (drums), Aaron Bell (bass), Lance King (vocals), Marcus Peterson (guitars), Brent Scott (guitars).

When I first reviewed Time Lost some time ago, I described the music as semi-speedy, dual guitar driven melodic metal with a small comparison to the Iron Maiden style at the time. Since then, the band has replaced the singer with Balance of Power's Lance King, who is guest vocalist on the disc, as well as having the band on his Nightmare Records label. They have also slowed down some of the tunes as well, opting to become more accessible through the use of acoustic guitars, and more accessible / melodic songs that complement King's high-pitched vocal style. The current music isn't as heavy as previous Defyance, although the band continues to use the speedy, dual guitar attack as their base sound, but they offset their signature style with more melodic songs in which King is more the focus, which almost gives the sensation of listening to a Balance of Power disc.

I'm not sure which direction the band is going in having changed their style somewhat. Whether or not this was done to accommodate King's style of singing remains to be seen, but overall this is certainly a more laid back Defyance. The choice to tone down the power and the addition of Lance King's high-pitched vocal approach will make this a difficult choice for pure metal heads to grab onto, and the Balance of Power fans will be disappointed if they think that having Lance King on vocals means a new BoP disc. This music is nothing like BoP.

The production is better than Time Lost, but still could use some boost in the bottom end as that disc did. Vocals are way up front as is standard when Lance King sings, and rightfully so. The guitars sound clean and precise as well, but with dual guitars, I'd like to hear more power in the sound like Maiden or Leppard. Also, the bottom end is a bit flat, while more kick drum and bass are certainly needed to help make this more convincing.

Overall, the disc is well done, but it does sound like the band is a bit confused as to which direction they want to head in. Having Lance King on vocals certainly adds a melodic flair to the music, but the heaviness has been forsaken in doing so. If you are into clean, melodic metal that tends to be toned down a lot, then this would do well for you. If you are looking for a Balance of Power disc, you will be disappointed. I'm anxious to see what the band does next; they have certainly changed their style around since their initial effort.

[This review originally appeared March 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Connection (5:19) / Passing Of The Night (4:55) / A Force To Face My Fears (6:47) / Silent Tears (6:34) / A Notion (5:16) / Fire Of Ancients (5:27) / Just Beyond My Sight (5:20) / Never Fade Away (4:06) / Tied To A Wheel (9:00)

Doug Beary - drums, percussion
Aaron Bell - bass
Lance King - vocals
Marcus Peterson - guitars
Brent A Scott - guitars


Matt Bell - keyboards

Amaranthine (1996)
Time Lost (1999)
Transitional Forms (2002)

Genre: Melodic Metal

Origin US

Added: December 11th 2004
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri
Artist website:
Hits: 835
Language: english


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