Album Review :
Call to Preserve - Life of Defiance

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Band: Call to Preserve
Title: Life of Defiance
Label: Facedown Records
Release Date: June 8, 2010
Review By: Steve
Track Listing:
1. Life of Defiance
2. Drawing Lines On All Sides
3. Empty Promises
4. The Weight
5. Functionary
6. Desoto
7. Thin Skin
8. Across the Aisle
9. Holding Embers
10. Lost at Sea
11. Last Look Back

Call to Preserve’s third full-length offering is a bit of a jump from previous work, but not so much that their original sound is lost. They have upped the melody in the tracks, and are more focused on providing the listener with a journey than playing tough riffs. The guitars in Life of Defiance harkens back to the 80’s hardcore scene, and in “Desoto” the guitars almost have a little bit of a country tone in them at times. Despite some nostalgia and country tinge in one track, Call to Preserve is by no means straying from their hardcore roots. There is plenty of heavy hardcore we all know and love to be found in Life of Defiance.

Vocally, John is as good as ever. In Life of Defiance, guitarist Harbor can be heard more interchanging vocals with John that lends a great compliment to the rest of the sound of the guitars and music in general. Life of Defiance has less gang vocals but also lacks cheesy pop hooks that have become all too common today. Lyrically, themes of a return to the original social ethic of the punk rock lifestyle, a realization of moments of apathy, and the struggle to overcome adversity are very strong on this album. Christian beliefs are subtly tied into the songs as opposed to being overtly obvious. The one exception is “Across the Aisle” that features Joe from Advent. John and Joe trade vocals talking about using the name of God to justify wars. “Could we waste anymore time on this? It’s a strange thing to show love with your fist. We screamed until they went deaf. We pushed until they bled. A slave to your politics. The way they use our God (The way they use our God). To justify a war (to justify). Or tow the party live (tow the party line). The way you play the whore. I won’t close my eyes and justify a fight for control. I won’t toe your line. I can’t close my eyes. I can’t toe your line.”

As well as being the only song that really mentions God by name, “Across the Aisles” is my favorite track on the album. The presence of Joe brings out some extra aggression that isn’t in the rest of the album. You can feel the anger from John and Joe drip from your speakers. This song really makes me want to get up and damage something (of course not in bad way but you know what I mean). This is one of those songs that can really strike a chord within you and get you up moving. Too bad, it is only a little more than a minute and a half long!

Overall: this is another excellent release from Call to Preserve. Call to Preserver has managed to craft good hardcore across an entire album rather than just a few songs on the album. Call to Preserver does not attempt any genre-bending to try to please the masses. This is straight up old school hardcore and they do it very well. If you liked Call to Preserve’s previous work, you will definitely appreciate their latest effort. On a side note, this is my favorite album cover by Dave Quiggle!