Beyond Recognition

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

1992's Beyond Recognition was Defiance's third album, and the capper of a fairly undistinguished career, if truth be told. After all, despite their undeniable instrumental prowess and relative staying power through to and beyond the great "Grunge Barrier" of 1991 (which killed off so many heavy metal bands dead, dead, dead), the Bay Area thrash quintet's music still sounded, with very few exceptions, like a balanced but uninventive blend of neighboring hot shots Testament and Exodus (neither of which was faring very well by then, either!). To be fair, some of those rare exceptions arrived on Beyond Recognition itself, but neither the more deliberate, stylistically diverse "Perfect Nothing" and "Promised Afterlife" (where Steev Esquivel showed increasing confidence in his melodic singing), nor the semi-funky thrasher "Power Trip" were groundbreaking enough to stave off the beleaguered group's impending demise. Instead, this was irremediably cemented by numerous, nearly featureless concrete blocks such as "No Compromise," "Inside Looking Out," "The Chosen," and ho-hum opener "The Killing Floor." After the band's dissolution, the aforementioned Esquivel would resurface with post-thrashers Skinlab soon enough, but the remaining members of Defiance would face a long retirement (before regrouping right after the start of new millennium) while their legacy lay mostly forgotten, gathering dust in the memories of serious thrash enthusiasts and avid collectors.

blue highlight denotes track pick