Deconstruction (Seer Music)
Death Defying Leap

By Robert Gruber

Dark, inventive, poetic, heavy - the lyrics of Steve Estes detail a life in Christ in terms that are steeped in the apocalyptic. Dressed as they are in the pummelling, rhythmic rock of Death Defying Leap, the overall experience of any given song is a one-two shot to the heart and the cerebellum.

There isn't a great deal of subtlety or dynamic here (unlike the band's live set) - most of the tunes rock full-on out of the box and stay that way to the end. Producer Glenn Rowlands tampers with their mix, however, adding touches of studio trickery that sets Deconstruction a notch apart from most local debuts. Guitarist Donzo brings an ageless background of blues-rock influence to songs like "Soul Graffiti" and "Shimmer." The rhythm section of Ace Woodsen (bass) and Dave Bruck (drums) is water-tight and seemingly invincible, as on the radio-ready "Vulnerable."

It's when you start to catch lyrics like "I have a mom and dad/chromosomes on tape/I have feelings and I bleed . . . obtuse, oblong, regress, attack/at times I'm a square" from "Responsive" that the difference really emerges. Or, "Schemes and plans thwarted by hands/ with nail piercing scars mortal wounds/death has been starved the grave has been robbed/life from the dark, empty tomb" (from "Do You Hear Me").

Though the band could benefit from a bit more variety in their sound, it's obvious from Deconstruction that D.D.L. is a creative giant taking its first big step. Fans who appreciate bands like Soundgarden and Alice in Chains for more than just their heavy sound will dig Death Defying Leap, and be much better for it.