Tech Death Thursday: Deceptionist

Deceptionist are afraid of robots, and they want you to know about it. It’s Tech Death Thursday.

Firstly, some newsly bits:

  • Ne Obliviscaris/Vipassi bassist Cygnus has (another) tech death side project, Infinite Density, also featuring Ben Boyle of Hadal Maw. It sounds quite a bit different from either of the aforementioned bands, so even if you’re not a fan of them, I recommend giving this a listen. Check out “Infinite Rebirth” and look for Recollapse of the Universe on July 29th.
  • Astral Path (not to be confused with the similarly-named black metal project Astral Path) have debuted a single from their upcoming album Ashes Dancer. It’s already sounding strong, with a lot of emphasis on melody and emotion. Ashes Dancer is out July 29th.
  • If you were looking for an excuse to revisit AkroasisObscura has just released a video for “Ten Sepiroth.” It’s nothing special- just another performance video- but damn, what a song.
  • I’m not entirely sure what a Centaurus-A is, but if “Down the Drain” is any indication, it has anger management issues. Fortunately, that lends itself pretty well to tech death; this song rips. Look for Means of Escape sometime in the near future.
  • Orphalis still doesn’t sound like any of the bands their label claims they resemble, but this new single is still awesome. Check out “Encased in a Higher Intellect” for some nasty riffage.
  • I know this was mentioned in a prior article, but it bears repeating that BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL BRAIN DRILL

“Mechanical” is a dirty word in the musical world, a vile insult reserved for the most sterile and soulless of songs. It’s not something to strive for, either in terms of production or in playing. At best, it saps the music of its impact; at worst, it implies the musician can’t actually play their material. Even bands like The Zenith Passage, who I believe were able to spin their robotic sound to their advantage, get by primarily on the creativity of their compositions. They pepper their music with moments of humanity, giving those small sections that much more impact.

So what, then, is the explanation for Initializing Irreversible Process? This has to be one of the most painfully mechanical-sounding albums I have ever heard, and my love of robotic music is pretty welldocumented at this point. I’m not speaking solely about the production, either; I can stomach overrefined engineering without issue. The real problem here is with the music itself. It all feels like it was churned out by a factory somewhere, each song built with a mold and checked for defects before shipping out. I’m not exaggerating; the first six songs would be indistinguishable from one another if they didn’t all- literally all- fade out in the same way at the end. I actually lost place during my first listen when I stopped the album without checking which song I was on and was unable to determine where I was by listening to bits of each track, forcing me to start again from the beginning. There’s not even a variation in tempo until the end of track six, and even then it’s just half-time from everything leading up to it. It mercifully changes things up for a bit after that with a triplet-feel song and a couple more tunes that explore the mid to high ranges of the guitar, whereas the former half focuses almost solely on the lower end of the instrument.

Is this all supposed to be a statement? A greater theme of the album? If so, I find that incredibly ironic- even hypocritical- given Deceptionist’s vehemently anti-transhumanist (and unintentionally hilarious) lyrics. You can’t be expected to be taken seriously when you write an entire album focusing on the dangers of technology and loss of humanity, then compress and quantize everything to kingdom fuck. Perhaps it’s just too late, and Deceptionist have fallen prey to the very technological singularity they were trying to warn us about.

If there’s one thing the band has mastered, it’s the art of the rest. Silence is underutilized in the world of tech death (with the sole exception of Gorod), save for the occasional breakdown or clean guitar interlude. Sure, a lot of the riffs feel like recycled versions of each other, but when those breaks hit, they hit hard. They lose their impact after you’ve heard them for the five-hundredth time, but it’s fun while it lasts. The best moment on the album doesn’t come until the very end, however; closing track “Operator Nr 3” is leagues ahead of the rest in terms of songwriting and closes with an immensely satisfying guitar duel. Moreover, it goes to show that had they mixed things up a little more, this could have been a much better album.

Initializing Irreversible Process isn’t a complete dud, but it’s far from perfect. There are some solid moments, but even at just over 30 minutes long, it feels bloated with copy-pasted riffs. The production is as stale as the songwriting, completely subverting the message the band is trying to get across. There’s about half a good album here, and for that I give it:

2.5/5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell


Deceptionist can be found on Facebook and BandcampInitializing Irreversible Process is out now on Unique Leader. That’s all for this week; until next time,

Stay Tech

Do you have a band you would like to see featured? A new release we should keep an eye on? Or maybe you want to do some writing yourself? Then email us at and make your voice heard!

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Toilet Ov Half

      • BobLoblaw


  • Yea I really really really dislike that Deceptionist album.

  • Owlswald

    I listen to the Deceptionist track and long for what might have been. They have some killer riffage in that song that would have been absolutely dick crushing if there wasn’t a machine gun being played (Edit: Fired) over it.

    • I liked their Ep quite a bit, but this is bad.

  • What is it with this trend of bandcamp bands not putting wishlist options on their album pre orders? THE FUCK YALL THINKING?

    • Hans Müller

      If it’s not for sale, it can’t go on your wishlist. Not the band’s fault.
      Now, why the band didn’t put it up for sale or even enable streaming is another matter. Weird.

      • Lacertilian

        I wishlisted that Mephistopheles pre-order on Bandcamp. So it must be possible somehow.

  • MachoMadness5000

    I ain’t mad at it – but I ain’t exploding jizz about it either.

    Good review!

    • Owlswald

      But that Centaurus-A track = OOOHHHHHH YYYYYEEAH!

      • MachoMadness5000

        Holy shit. I just listened to it. OOOOHHHH FUCKIN YEEEAAHH!!!!

        • yum, there are hints of the greatest metal band (The Red Chord) in here. m/

          • MachoMadness5000

            Goddammit, I love The Red Chord. Why did he have to turn into a cop?

          • Owlswald

            They absolutely slayed live.

          • MachoMadness5000

            Yes, they did. I got to see them 3 times… twas glorious.

  • Abradolf Lincler

    pretty low review for a tdt, i can see why. i does seem to lack impact, and comes across very sterile. i particularly cant stand how present the vocals are in the mix (isnt this tech death?)

    • Spear

      I know I’m breaking my own rule by featuring a band I couldn’t get into, but I’d heard enough people talking about them that I figured I should give it a shot.

  • Eliza

    I don’t think this album is that bad in terms in how it’s played, my biggest gripe with it is that it’s just forgettable. Nothing stuck with me after I listened to it. That was a little bit of a waste of time.

  • Óðinn


  • BobLoblaw
  • i’d be willing to give this album more than a single song chance, if the whole thing didn’t sound like it was sent through a LOW-PASS FILTER! (i hope somebody from the band sees this)

    it’s tough to review something that’s neither a winner nor a loser. s-Pear, thanks for taking the time to do this!

  • my 2cents? I did not think it was all that bad. Repeating riffs are more memorable after the first pass. Instead of, lets say Fallujah, which took a dozen passes to remember an entire song.

    Definitely not terrible, though.


  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Yeah this is what I would call pretty hecking bad. They’re skilled-ish players and that raises this just above monstrously hideous, but barely.

  • that Centaurus-A sure is a good. they seem like they could be FFO: Divinity

    • Abradolf Lincler

      Divinity is a great game

    • Eliza

      I just listened to it and, holy shit, those riffs, they are AMAZING.

  • Joaquin Stick

    Side note about one of your news bits, I love when a band is clearly a copycat of another band, and the label goes out of the way not to mention that one specifically, but other bands that are tangentially related.

  • Totally backed on the tech death bands needing to utilize rests. Just a simple rest for some breathing room adds tension and release and helps beat back that non-stop onslaught of riffage and weedlies.

  • From this round I am jamming Centaurus-A. I don’t know why, but they remind me of The Haunted. Infinite Density sounds good too.

    I dug the Obscura video, is my favorite song of the new album, that, right now, I am not feeling at all, yet 🙁

    Thanks a lot for your hard work, Spear!!!

    • Eliza

      Not into the new Obscura album? Interesting.

      • The second part of the album stumbles too much in long segments that I feel are kinda disconnected from the overall vibes of the songs. To me, Obscura were always a band that wrote strong songs but didn’t knew how to put the whole album cramming some long structures into songs that didn’t need them at all. I like the Obscura that construct by tiny blocks their songs, like they did in the best songs in Cosmogenesis and Omnivium.

        I am also torn that Jeroen is not there anymore. I nevah forget! Jeroen didn’t made playthoughs, but you can watch how the lines were made by this bassist. Check out that sick accompany he wrote for the odd-time of the drums in 2:55:

        Jeroen made so many great melodic lines and harmonies to those songs that gave them a new edge to the blast beats sections and the neoclassical riffing. His work in Ensemble Salazshar is amazing, but I think he did a wonderful job delivering those nasty lines that gave so much color to Obscura music. Linus is a good, but I truly prefer Jeroen, one of my fav bass players.

  • Waynecro

    The tech death is strong this week. Thanks, Spear! Infinite Density’s name is highly appropriate, because they sound thick as hell. Astral Path sounds pretty good, so I’m looking forward to hearing the whole album. I’m so psyched to hear that Centarus-A is finally putting out a new album; I don’t think the band has released anything new since 2009. That Orphalis single is killer, and BRAIN DRILL!!! I still really like that Deceptionist album, though I could do without some of the sound effects.

    • plz tell me you are a BRAIN DRILL fan, dear Mr. Cro

      • Waynecro

        Indeed I am, Jimmy. I even sport the Apocalyptic Feasting shirt from time to time.

        • this makes me so giddy!

          • Waynecro


          • i’d delete every other song off my Zune, if it meant the whole thing could be filled with Brain Drill myoozik

          • Waynecro

            I’m super pumped about the new album. It’s going straight to my gym playlist.

          • BRAIN DRILL just came out before their time. now that tech death is all teh rage, BRAIN DRILL will finally have their time to shine! get ready for waves and waves of people begging us to let them into the BRAIN DRILL fan club

          • Waynecro

            I’ve been aboard the BRAIN DRILL train since Apocalyptic Feasting came out in 2008. The ferocity and weedles/deedles blew me away. To join the BRAIN DRILL fan club, applicants must accept the glory of Dylan Ruskin’s massive Popeye-like forearms and jam the band’s discography with all due earnestness and sincerity.

          • AND said applicants must spend no more than three hours a day outside of a gym (garage-based or other).

          • Waynecro

            Well, even BRAIN DRILL fans gotta go to work, so just thinking about kicking ass and working out for about 85 percent of the day is totally acceptable.

  • Joaquin Stick

    “The conveyor brings the THING”

    Best lyric line of the year.

  • Count_Breznak

    I think I listened through the Deceptionist album about 2-3 times in the backround..and I can only agree. It’s very average. Nothing made me want to pay any attention.

  • Kyle Reese

    Well, the album title says it. They’re just initializing the creative process….