Era Of Substitution – 2012 – Grom
Morbid Spiritual Illness – 2015 - Miner
Insurrection Icon – 2018 – Art Gates

Defiant image
Filip Mihoci – Hereza>>Ivan Kovačevic>>Hereza, Morphcored – Reinkaos, Chemical Exposure>>TOMISLAV DEBELIĆ>>Chemical Exposure

Filip Mihoci - Kristijan Krpan - Vrane>>KRISTIJAN KRPAN>>Vrane

Mislav Gojo

Necro Forest, Vrane, Kolac, Ruins Of Unlight, Sacramental Blood>>Leonardo Marković>>Necro Forest, Vrane, Kolac, Ruins Of Unlight, Sacramental Blood

History & Biography
This Croatia-based act was formed in 2005 and threw in the towel four years later. The band dubbed itself ‘Croatian metal with Swedish style’ during that period. In this period, the group’s demo was called The End Of Beginning and stemmed from 2006. There was also a demo in 2008. The band reformed and issued Era Of Substitution. Tomislav Debelić joined in 2017. The group played several shows and festivals in 2018. Sead Hadžić joined on drums in 2018. Mislav Gojo left in 2020. His replacement was Zoran Stjepić. Vanguards Of Misrule was a 2022 demo, which the band dedicated to the dead former singer of Entombed, LG Petrov. The band was booked for Lazarus fest IV in late 2022.


Art Gates has something for fans of Vader, Deicide, Dawn and Dissection. Defiant is not the world’s most technical or skilled band, but the group delivers in terms of speed, heaviness and conviction on song after song. The vocals go from higher pitched blasphemous screams to roars reminiscent of Kataklysm’s Sylvain Houde. There are songs like Of Eternity And Trembling, which follow the path of Dawn and ones like Viva Dolorosa, which veer towards pounding death metal. This latter one has fabulous solo, although the band’s lead work is more of the beautiful noise variety than melodic proficiency. Hear Phosphorus Venus as an example. This album is full of promise. There is a dub of the hallucinating drug addict Aleister Crowley prior to my favourite song Casus Vir, Coffin Rebirth begins with a spoken piece before picking up, a recording of several Soilwork fans being tortured in the background is on God Of The Gaps and there is godly blasting on A Hymn To Uncreation. No one will think it funny when the singer screams “Fuck your god…” – Ali “The Metallian”

Defiant’s Insurrection Icon is a wonderful death metal album released through Art Gates Records this year. The band’s style, music and lyrics would be cause enough to feature and promote the quartet. Simply put, Defiant needs more attention. With that said, in the course of sitting down with and interviewing singer Tomislav Debelić Ali “The Metallian” came across a man who proved himself to not only be a talented metal artist, but also cool, polite and in possession of the faculty of humour. The man displayed a sense of class. Scroll down to read an interview where in the face of provocative and contrarian questions Tomislav is willing to engage and maintain his rapport. To be precise Metallian has nothing against people who use or abuse drugs, have or will contract sexual diseases or anyone else. Like everything else judgement calls are always subjective and a matter of perspective – as opposed to correctness and truth. Nonetheless, the Defiant man was challenged and came out sounding courteous and lucid. – 06.09.2018

METALLIAN: Congratulations on an impressive new album. Insurrection Icon is a marvelous slab of metal. What was the intention or design the band had in mind for the new record?
TOMISLAV: Thank you very much for your kind words. The idea was to record our darkest and most mature record, combine all the elements of the previous albums we had into this one and add several new elements. We are quite pleased with the result as are the fans, which is a win-win situation in my book.

METALLIAN: Speaking of which, to what does the title refer?
TOMISLAV: As a lyricist I never want to be direct in any songs that I write and leave enough space for listeners and readers to interpret it in their own way. In one way, it can be quite obvious what is the subject but in another way Insurrection Icon could be about you, it could be about me or any other person who decides to make up a mind of his own and does not follow the mass media or the so-called trends.

METALLIAN: How, if at all, does the album differ from the band's earlier releases?
TOMISLAV: I think that the biggest difference is that we added some black metal elements to it for good measure. Like I said, it’s definitely our darkest offering so far.

METALLIAN: In my review of Insurrection Icon other bands mentioned were Vader, Dissection and old Kataklysm. What do you think? Any of these are band favourites?
TOMISLAV: All three so that is a good guess, at least in my case. Those were one of my first more extreme bands that I listened to back in the day. I was quite surprised with the comparison with Sylvain (of Kataklysm), his vocals were utterly insane.
On the other hand, I can’t really tell that we were directly inspired by those bands. They are simply awesome acts that found their own sound and the right formula to write good songs. So when you write a song, like One With Chaos, with a more melodic touch to it with more of an evil vibe, the first reaction that people have is ‘Wow this sounds like Dissection, right?’

METALLIAN: The group's sound also offers comparisons to Adramelech and Demigod. Any chance anyone in the band is a fan of those groups?
TOMISLAV: I don’t think so, sorry.

METALLIAN: My favourite song on the album is Casus Vir. This song rages. It is ironic, since you put a junkie suffering from STDs on the song. Could you dig a little for us into this track and also your opinion of Aleister Crowley?
TOMISLAV: Casus Vir is one of the first new songs that we wrote and I had an idea to call our friend Chuck from French death metal band Ghusa to do vocals with me. It has a great Vader-like vibe and I wanted to do something similar to what Vader did in a song called Whisper from the album Revelations where Piotr shared vocals with Nergal from Behemoth. That’s why the song rages so much, it has two pissed off guys on the microphone.
About the STD suffering junkie I assume you are talking about Crowley. He is not in the Casus Vir song but in Sulphur And Void, the previous instrumental track. The story about that is simply that Kris (the guitar player) sent me his demo of this song as a dark instrumental that may be somewhere in the middle of the album and I had a bank full of samples from movies, some rituals and similar. The first thing I added was Crowley’s speech which made our skin crawl - so we kept it. About Crowley… he was simply an individual that took life by the throat and lived in a way he wanted to, which inspired the entire next generation and numerous world famous bands from The Beatles, Rolling Stones and such. Was his ways of living moralistic? Definitely not, but you can take some ideas from him.

METALLIAN: How did you guys and Ghusa cross path and meet?
TOMISLAV: I met the guys during one of their gigs in Croatia that Defiant guitarist Kris organized for them. Chuck and I did a Brave New Hell cover from Bloodbath together at that gig. So this is very much returning the favour. I like his vocals.

METALLIAN: Since we spoke about Crowley let me ask it now, the lyrics are generally absorbing and fascinating. Could you paint a picture or perhaps give the readers a sense of the ideation for these?
TOMISLAV: I can’t paint even if my life depends on it, but thanks for the compliment. I simply take inspiration from everything, were it obscure documentaries on taboo subjects, books or articles. I work at the library and so many things are at my disposal. The main goal is to try to go as deep as you can into some themes that may not be explored as they should have been and try not to repeat what the other bands did.

METALLIAN: Whose idea was it to dub a few Soilwork fans being exposed to Defiant on the song God Of The Gaps?
TOMISLAV: Oh, we just dragged Will Smith into the vocal booth and left him there for an hour with a dog, monkey and a snake. It was a team effort.

METALLIAN: What an answer, Tomislav! Let's go back. Could you fill in the readers on the band's background? Particularly, the band had broken up once. What was the story behind that?
TOMISLAV: Defiant was formed back in 2005 playing melodic death metal akin to bands like In Flames, Dark Tranquility and similar. The old line-up broke up because of the personality conflicts. So it took Kris, who is the original member, around two years to find new members. With the new line-up Defiant got a new, more aggressive sound which keeps evolving.

METALLIAN: What is the one thing, a trivia perhaps, in the band's history of which no one is aware?
TOMISLAV: We listen to a lot of glam metal when we are on the road.

METALLIAN: Sounds like fun. Which would you say is your favourite glam metal band?
TOMISLAV: Easily W.A.S.P.; the older material before Blackie became a born again idiot.

METALLIAN: Another good answer. Incidentally, it is such a cliché that someone like Blackie becomes a right-wing Christian ignoramus. Americans like he or Dave Mustaine go through every stereotype possible, sex, alcohol, drugs, loud music and more and cannot take it, revert back to their childhood and societal mainstream and find the fantasy god and support politicians that would have burnt them and their bands at the stake just a few years ago. The irony is scorching. Moving on, let's say you are walking down the street and along come the members of Ukraine-based Defiant. How will the conversation go?
TOMISLAV: I would start with: ‘So, you are Star Trek geeks as well?’

METALLIAN: Does that imply that DS9 is your favorite Star Trek series?
TOMISLAV: You imply right. Less techno-babble, more in-depth and characters. Sisko all the way.

METALLIAN: Completely agreed, Tomislav. While The Next Generation is fantastic too, Deep Space 9 has always been our absolute favourite too here at Metallian Towers. The characters, acting quality, action and, yes, Captain Sisko were simply the best. This is ironic given how much superstition, religion and fantasy about prophets the series depicts. Perhaps that explains it though in fact. So, what is next for Defiant? Any specific plans?
TOMISLAV: We just did a ten-date Eastern European tour and are currently hitting some one-off shows in countries like Italy and Austria.
Our nearest gig is Dark Circle in Rijeka in our home country where we will play with bands like The Crown, Belphegor and a shitload of great local bands. We are also working on some band videos so stay tuned.

METALLIAN: Is this a video clip or a full-length? If the former, which song would you pick? If the latter is there a particular performance that was filmed?
TOMISLAV: We are doing a One With Chaos video as we speak. It is going to be out in a month or two. We have another video planned, but will keep it as a surprise. It is going to be more special.

METALLIAN: As you know, Metallian is the world's foremost metal authority. What is your favourite aspect of Metallian?
TOMISLAV: It gives very interesting interviews. Haven’t had so much fun answering questions in a while. Thank-you very much to you and your readers. Stay heavy.

If you enjoyed this, read Vader