You'd think that after nearly 30 years, Sick of It All might be ready to settle down someplace warm and enjoy a nice, cushy retirement from being professionally pissed off, but if their tenth album is any indicator, the fight is far from over. Returning to new material after taking a break to polish up some old classics on 2011's Non-Stop, Last Act of Defiance finds the band making a furious return with one of their most muscular albums to date. Working again with metal producer Tue Madsen, the album's beefy production brings the band's classic hardcore sound screaming into the modern era, giving Sick of It All's sound a sonic heft to match their discontent. Rallying against what the band sees as a disconnected and disaffected world, Last Act of Defiance looks to reach out to what Sick of It All see as a generation of people so focused on distracting themselves that they're failing to see that the world around them is crumbling. On "Disconnect Your Flesh," the hardcore legends warn listeners of the dangers of keeping themselves constantly connected to the virtual world. In what feels like a natural follow-up to that idea, "Sidelined" tells a tale about how our many distractions are merely a trick for those in power to take our freedoms away. Where the band's last effort was rooted in their past, Last Act of Defiance has its feet firmly planted in the present with a message that feels both important and timely, making for a solid album that shows Sick of It All aren't just going through the motions.
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney