On their fifth album—their first since frontman Austin Carlile’s departure—California’s Of Mice & Men push full steam ahead. Stepping into Carlile's shoes is bassist Aaron Pauley, on both clean and screamed vocals. Defy’s grunge-influenced melodies and (occasionally) dipping tempos breathe diversity and digestibility into the formidable metalcore mix. While the titular track and “Unbreakable” sing of strength and perseverance, “On the Inside” and “Warzone” reveal painful truths. Sandwiched in the middle comes an audacious album highlight: a roaring rendition of Pink Floyd’s classic “Money.” With Defy, Of Mice & Men not only prevail—they raise the bar.