DéFago – Roots of Evil – Album Review

defagorootsDéFago – Roots of Evil – Album Review

Spanish electronic guru DéFago’s follow up album to 2013’s outstanding debut, Call of Darkness is set to be issued by UK horror label and firm UKHS favourites Graveyard Calling on the first of April.


Roots of Evil, 9 tracks of eerie and melodic EDM is much of the same style and frantic pacing which DéFago is known for and on a whole doesn’t disappoint, the tracks feel a lot more experimental than the first album with DéFago coupling and layering familiar synth sounds to create an alien yet inviting world which encapsulates around the music.


The simple, robotic opening track, Bag Full of Nightmares lures the listener into a false sense of security before unleashing the familiar and haunting sounds found in a spate of 80s horror opus’.


Hardly allowing the listener to skip a beat before the aural assault continues DéFago delivers a shorter sequence of tracks ( the first three tracks have a relatively short runtime) all of them offering something different to hear and plenty to discover on repeated plays, the tiny nuances on the layering and different musical equipment delivers a fresh and interesting sequence of compositions that reward the effort that is put into them.


The fifth track, The Uselessness of 4am is an undoubted highlight of the album, starting slowly and pulsing, a shallow rise luring in the listener until a third of the way into the track it evolves perfectly from a frantic paced sequence to a subtly haunting finale showcasing DéFago ‘s talent for composition and storytelling through music.


Our Lady of Shadows is a complete 360 from the previous track, isolation and desolation are created with the use of negative sounds and a really creepy extended loop, sounding harmless at first but suddenly mutating into the crying and desperate sobbing of a woman; this is a completely unsettling song, harshly throwing the listener into the peril and tightly grasping them with sonically weird, yet compelling sequence.


defago1The final two tracks are the closest to his first album, 80s horror synth mixed with an psychedelic, pulsing pace that could be placed directly into Escape from New York and become part of that world.


The aptly titled Epitaph closes the album perfectly bringing back the dual layered synth working as a round would bringing an upbeat and catchy loop to end the journey perfectly. The woman (presumably) from Our Lady Of Shadows is back yet this time not screaming but harmonising washing a calming, angelic feel over the track closing the album and with it her journey.


Futuristic, scary and strangely inviting DéFago is carving a name for himself in this sonic landscape and the comparisons to Carpenter and Howarth are undeniable; as is the magnitude of influence they left in the 80s horror soundtrack world but look to DéFago to see the evolution of the style as he manipulates the commonplace into a whole new creature, using the familiar to alienate and astound, shattering preconceptions as the runtime winds on.


The album swiftly passes and If there is any quibble to be had is that some of the earlier tracks feel as though they could’ve been revisited and expanded allowing more time for the audience to soak them in, yet this also helps the middle section of the album come into its own.


The Call of Darkness was a highlight of 2013 for me and to compare this second album to it is unfair, both showcase the talent that DéFago possesses but also his ability to utilise his influences to his own effect, creating two different entities using the same instruments is outstanding.


Part of the fifth double feature cassette from Graveyard calling with label-mates Werewolves in Siberia second album the other and presented on an transparent purple tape; Roots of Evil comes highly recommended and has plenty for horror music and horror movie fans alike.


graveyardcalling1Graveyard Calling and its bands are laying down the gauntlet for the horror music community and every double feature is perfectly coupled. The limited nature of the releases and the resurgence of horror labels over the past few years makes this home-grown label one to keep an eye on.



Roots of Evil comes out on Cassette and download on April 1st from Graveyard Calling on their site here – www.graveyardcalling.co.uk 

Call of Darkness by Défago (2013) Music Review


dfeagoCall of Darkness by Défago

Released 25th November 2013 by Graveyard Calling Records.

Readers of UKHS will undoubtedly already be familiar with the horror record label Graveyard Calling (if not where have you been?). November 25th sees the release of two new limited edition cassettes filled with the best in Horror themed EDM.


Défago offer 10 tracks (plus 5 bonus) of haunting melody and eerie synth sounds for you all to devour with the album Call of Darkness.


Hailing from Spain this is Défago’s first release on a beautifully designed Orange Cassette and limited to only 50 copies!


From the opening track Welcome to horror-mood! Défago grab hold of the listener and refuse to let that grip go; a pulsing yet simple baseline that feels perfectly at home in Escape From New York welcomes the listener before an haunting vocal encased within the beat subtlety captures the imagination starting proceedings nicely.


Much like label-mates Werewolves in Siberia the Carpenter/Howarth influence is clear but Défago take this template and expand on it creating complex, layered songs alongside a expansive knowledge of timing and rhythm with each song almost telling a story to the listener.




graveyardcalling2Robotomy for instance would fit perfectly in a possessed doll film; its slow methodical rise will bring chills to the spine, whereas Halloween eve and They fly by night offer a much more upbeat sound adding to the more chilling moments greatly.


Children of the forest is the stand out track on the album, an eerie wind encompasses the track adding depth and the feeling of expansion and desolation to the viewer all leading to a playful laughter which comes across as more sinister than is usually connected with a child’s laugh.


The great thing about this release is the way Défago uses backing and underlining tracks to escalate the horror of the actual tracks; The use of wind in the aforementioned Children of the forest, an almost watery effect at the finale of Noctuary (which I would love to know how they created).


The hypnotic and dread filled The Brotherhood rides again is a pleasure to listen to , sonically filling the speakers with tension and dread. Couple this with a hypnotic, surreal breakdown in the middle before gradually slowing the pace down masterfully. This is straight out of a satanic panic film.


If Welcome to the horror-mood is Défago doing Carpenter, ascending into blindness is the artist tackling Goblin and Argento; dramatic long notes flows beautifully along the track whisking away the listener with every sweep, listen to this track immediately.




defagoRealm of the MadChords is exactly as it sounds, frantic layered synth creating complex rhythms with each note perfectly placed and vital; this is a science fiction opus in 2:14.


The sheer scale of variation on this album is astounding delving deep into more eerie and creepy sounds before turning a complete 360 into strange and alien sounding worlds.


Graveyard Calling have found a real gem in Défago and having previously being unaware of this talent I envy new listeners discovering this for the first time.


There is lots to love about Call of Darkness any horror fan who has grown up on a diet of 80s horror and the soundtracks of its ilk will feel right at home here bringing back fond memories from a time long gone.


Regular Graveyard Calling fans will find this essential and newcomers to the label can file this in-between the Halloween II, Escape from New York and Susperia soundtracks in their collections.




graveyardcallingDéfago easily have the skill-set to score a complete feature the passion they bring to this release to a joy to witness unfolding in your ears, turn down the lights put the volume up and let them take you wherever you wish to go.




You can buy the cassette (which also includes a digital download) or order a digital copy from Graveyard Calling – http://graveyardcalling.bandcamp.com/album/call-of-darkness