Weird death is back. “But Edward” you say, shivering, swaddled tightly in your grandmother’s favorite wool blanket, “we thought it never left?”
Dissonant death metal is a much beloved and as often maligned subgenre in extreme music. Many heavy metal fans hail it as the future and the next step in the logical evolution of heavy metal, just as those fans are met with cries of “that’s not real metal” and “hahahahahaha what the fuck did I just listen to.” The veritable explosion of the subgenre has produced a significant number of talented bands. Enter New Jersey’s Replicant, who are hoping to climb to the top of the pile with their new release, Worthless Desires.
Replicant is a new band, formed in 2014 and sharing members with New Jersey’s Dystrophy. As of now I can only assume they’ve drawn their name from Ridley Scott’s unfuckwithable Blade Runner, and their debut release is a similarly gritty, dystopian experience. Worthless Desires is a four track, fourteen minute monster of a record.
The obvious touchstones for Worthless Desires are several moments from the career of Gorguts. If you have even a passing interest in extreme metal, or read and follow this site routinely, you should already be familiar with them. At various moments throughout Worthless Desires, elements of Obscura, From Wisdom To Hate, and Colored Sands are heard. That’s not to say Replicant is simply aping Gorguts’ catalog, but Gorguts are definitely the most direct influence. There are even vocal similarities, deep and powerful screams in the same vein as Luc Lemay. I digress from Metal Injection’s Austin Weber who cited similarities to spazz-death champions Pyrrhon, as little from Worthless Desires reminds me of Pyrrhon’s last several releases.
With such a brief runtime, Worthless Desires wastes no time with frilly introductions, instead choosing to pummel the listener right from its opening moments. The production strikes the right balance between clarity and oppression; each instruments is given a huge sound. “Ripped From Within” features steady riffs ending in sideways squalls; forceful, consistent drumming keeps the song marching forward. “Shroud” is where the weird death label really starts to apply, with more guitar squealing, increasingly chaotic drumming, and frequent tempo changes all abound. The next two tracks, “The Ever Dying Realm” and “Anti-Instinct – The Withered End” follow suit – “Anti-Instinct” features both the album’s fastest playing and its slowest crawl.
Much like the last EP I reviewed here, Worthless Desires is an impressive collection of tracks, but again, I’m left wanting more. The short length makes it easy to listen to these songs over and over, as you might find yourself doing after hearing this for the first time. As a debut, it introduces us to Replicant’s brand of dissonant death metal; the strong Gorguts influence does not detract anything from these newcomers. Replicant is definitely a band to watch for until we build off-world colonies in 2019. As such, I award this album:
4 / 5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell
h/t to the artist formerly known as Jack Bauer.