Let’s not mince words: Replacire are fucking great. We shall not deviate this Tech Death Thursday.
- Ataxia made the rather unfortunate mistake of putting out a song that shares its name with one of the greatest death metal tunes ever written, but at least their song is pretty damn sweet in its own right. Check out “Eaten,” and look for Awaken the Nebula sometime soon.
- Extremely Italian tech death outfit Antropofagus have a new album on the way for May 12th and a rather angry sounding new song to accompany it.
- Still not tech enough for you? Then check out this new tune from Spectral, which should have all the weedlies and most of the deedlies you’ll need. Look for Neural Correlates of Hate in the near future.
- Gorod’s very serious, not at all tongue-in-cheek thrash EP is launching on April 1st.
- I don’t know that I’ve ever actually been excited for a deathcore album before, but every new song The Voynich Code put out sounds better and better. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that it’s not just a series of breakdowns strung together by flimsy tech riffs and actually has progressions and complexity, but maybe that’s just me. Check out “Delusion” here and look for Aqua Vitae on May 5th.
Regular readers of Tech Death Thursday know that I’ve been hyping up this album for awhile now, and it’s finally about to release! Though Replacire had released an album prior to Do Not Deviate, it was “Horsestance” that first caught my ear. Beyond its solid production and incredibly tight performance, it was unique; it was jaunty and strange, but it sounded naturally so, and it had some surprisingly well-placed and -performed clean vocals. Moreover, it was concise; prog and tech musicians have a propensity for flowery, grandiose performances, but “Horsestance” was a singular no-frills statement. It said all it needed to with only two and a half minutes of music and got out before it overstayed its welcome. When all was said and done, I was hooked.
It pleases me to report that the rest of the album follows suit. Everything on Do Not Deviate is pointed and deliberate, with no redundant passages or masturbatory noodling. It’s a feat made more impressive by the sheer volume of notes being hurled at you at any given moment; this is, first and foremost, a death metal record. You’re assailed from all sides by deep tremolo-picked riffs and double bass, punctuated by dissonant chords, giving it a feeling of Dying Fetus by way of Soreption. Replacire do spend a fair amount of time on the mid to high ranges of the fretboard as well, particularly in slower, less conventionally-structured riffs (though no less vicious).
Even after multiple listens, I can’t help but marvel at the songwriting in place here. Every time a sung passage or guitar solo shows up- things that are typically seen as either unnecessary or self-indulgent- I try to imagine what else could go there, and I invariably fail to find anything that would work as well as what’s in place. These parts go beyond being necessary; they’re some of the best parts of the album. As previously mentioned, the clean vocals are very well-executed, which is something of a rarity in tech death. They’re short, often understated, and can create a bit of unease with the heavy instrumentation underneath them. The solos feel fresh and unique, with the guitarist making creative use of dissonance and some sliding tricks for added flavor. They’re immensely satisfying and never fail to ramp up the intensity.
Do Not Deviate is one of those rare albums that I can find nothing to complain about. The incredible precision of the performance and the agonizing detail put into the songs are outweighed by the aggression in their delivery and fervor behind the performance, snuffing out any notion of sterility. It strays from convention without ever getting lost in its own ideas, and it always sounds new despite some obvious influences. Replacire haven’t just crafted one of the best tech death albums of this year; they’ve made one of the best tech death albums, period.
Do Not Deviate is out tomorrow, March 17th, on Season of Mist (and you can find it on Bandcamp as well). Be sure to check out the full stream at No Clean Singing; you don’t want to skip this one. You can swing by the band’s Facebook for updates, and catch them on a US east coast tour from April 1st to 10th (dates at NCS). That about does it for this week, so until next time,
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