It's been two years since Defeat's last outing 'You Know Who You Are', but the Hertfordshire-based electro duo have definitely spent their time well. The band's old school ebm meets industrial flavours have been further honed on their seventh studio release, 'Rise', and the result is definitely a shift in gear.
The album still keeps the fundamental influences of Nitzer Ebb, Front 242 and Front Line Assembly at the head of the charge, but as with their last outing, the modern club elements see another big increase in presence. The result is bigger beats, bigger synths and bigger dance floor potential with tracks such as 'The Phoenix', 'Dirty/Sick', 'The Fatalists', and 'Nothing You' providing a strong and driven presence.
While the likes of 'Rage', 'The Hurt', and 'Rise' as well as the sumptuous closer 'Live Your Life' up the emotional quota of the album with a more minimal and focussed approach reflecting their old school roots and adding a couple of little twists for good measure.
Production-wise this is the best the band have ever sounded. There are still the odd rough spots, but in comparison to the last two albums, 'Rise', is easily their strongest showing to date, that is accessible, dance-friendly and, at times, emotional.
'Rise' is a short, but strong album. It mixes up their previously tried and tested formula and takes risks where it needs to. The end result definitely pays of for the duo, particularly with tracks like 'Dirty/Sick', 'Rise', and 'Live Your Life'. They're moving out of their comfort zone with every release and the results speak for themselves. It would be great to get a follow-up to this album sooner rather than later but with the last two-year gaps between albums it is evident that Defeat like to take their time, and to be fair, it does yield results for them.