DEFDUMP - Makeshift Polaris

dEFDUMp - Makeshift Polaris

9 songs
31:17 minutes
***** ****
Self Fulfilment


It's already ten years since dEFDUMp started as a rather common local hardcore band, but they proved that with the necessary force of will and an open mind that had them infuse new influences into their music, they have become not only the most important Luxembourgish hardcore band, but even one of the most promising ones from Europe. While Hardcore (1997) and Circle's Closing (EP 1999) were the necessary improvements of a still young band, their new millennium releases (David vs Corporate Society EP 2001 and The Spark Has Become A Flame EP 2002) had them surpassing everything we had ever witnessed in this country, and while it is never accurate to label a band with different styles, dEFDUMp were the ones to bring ScrEaMO into our territories. While there have been scores of new likewise bands recently (Eternal Tango, Spyglass, just to name the two most important ones), dEFDUMp have the advantage of experience, and their new release Makeshift Polaris proves again that they are still the best you can find in Luxembourg.

This time around, we have to deal with 'a socio-political documentary about two modern lives that are struggling to see their dreams come true'. Partly a concept album, although not a story as would be common for a metal band, we get songs telling the viewpoints of the two protagonist Appolleon and June. And with this being their first longplayer (even if it's a short one) in three years, you get a deeper look about what the guys are able to do. The first impression is that they have become more extreme, and it takes quite some time to get the maximum out of the songs. The opener Lament Manifest reminds me of Cliché from their Spark EP. The title song, downloadable on the band's website, has a lot of synth sounds, adding chilly atmospheres to the music, The same can be said about Going To Paris, dEFDUMp's first ever ballad, and maybe their first song to get airplay on the more commercial radio stations? Although we should not forget that they had already the honour in the past to add one of their songs to a clip of the Sécurité Routière which could be seen every day during prime time on the RTL TV station.

Usel's vocals have developed more depth in the last years, and he's using his clear vocals right next to the screamo parts, with angry backing vocals from Marc whose guitar playing also becomes more accentuated from release to release. Next to this you get the melodic bass lines from Felix and the compact drumming of band newcomer Vincent. And because such promising talents need a good sound impression, the mastering has been done by Pelle Henricsson (Refused, Poison The Well,...). While I gave the maximum rating for the band's two last CDs, I still think this time they missed that one by a hair-breadth. Sure, there is again improvement, but not as dramatic in the past. And I have the strong suspicion that where this came from, there's even more to expect. And while I have been positively amazed this years by some newcomer albums, Makeshift Polaris may still be the best release from a local band this year, and hey, this makes me wonder why they still have found no big label, because as compared to best-selling bands like Atreyu or Converge, dEFDUMp certainly do not pale. A must-have, of course!

Back to Reviews