Before the symphonic power metal band Millennial Reign came into being, frontman Dave Harvey played in a band named 3:16 that played an 80s-era style of melodic metal. Through the early 2000s, they recorded an album that never was released. After 3:16 broke up, Dave would re-record these songs and eventually release the album as the self-titled debut release for Millennial Reign in 2012. As the fledgling MR developed away from the 80s style to symphonic power metal, Dave noticed that the debut was not truly MR material and took it off the market. Fast forward several years, Dave teamed up with Roxx Records to release the original recordings under the project moniker Defector.
I have listened to this album quite a few times now and there is some inexplicable infectiousness that I can’t explain. Defector plays a minimalistic metal/hard rock that radiates with an 80s feel. The sound can be summarized by guitar riffs, melodic vocals, and tasty solos all within modern production. The bass work and synthesizers help add color to the songs, but play more support to songs. The lyrical content is uplifting, often written in Vox Dei to reach out to the listener, assuring them of God’s love and mercy.