Replacire – Do Not Deviate (Review)

ReplacireThis is the second album by US technical death metallers Replacire.

I always enjoy a new techdeath release, especially when you never really know what you’re going to get when you press play.

In its dark heart this is a highly aggressive and brutal beast. Fleshed out around this are unusual time signatures, abrupt changes in pace, atypical melodies, jazz-fest workouts, and enough guitar wizardry to satisfy fans of technical noodling.

The vocals sound harsh, stone-dead and filled with an inhuman neutrality, as if they are going through the mechanical motions, but not in a bad way; simply in the most efficient and clipped manner to deconstruct what’s left of your corpse after the music has had its way with you. That’s the growls. Unexpectedly, we also get some clean vocals here and there that really bring things up to another level.

Importantly though – the songs. These are intricate, fanciful beasts that flourish with their brutal core, enhancing and building on this with all manner of juicy ideas and objects of intrigue. The album is varied, catchy, very memorable and demonstrates a passionate band filled to the brim with creativity and personality, with enough talent and skill to pull off their ambitious vision for extreme metal.

The interplay of brutality, complexity, progressive experimentation and melodic know-how make the songs on this release extremely strong. When taken all together in a package, Do Not Deviate is the type of album that can keep you occupied and satisfied for a long time to come.

With enough death metal ferocity to satisfy fans of brutality, it’s the other aspects of the music that drag this out of the gutter and into the limelight. However, this would be a lesser beast without the death metal base, and it’s great to hear that Replacire obviously understand this. Theirs is a fine balance between aggressive heaviness and expressive, emotive colour. Do Not Deviate strikes this balance with ease.

Imagine a mix of Death, Obscura, The Faceless, Meshuggah, Omnihility, Dying Fetus and Cephalic Carnage, if you will. Imagine this, and then listen to Do Not Deviate, because it’s really as good as it sounds.

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