Replacire - Do Not DeviateIf you’re inclined to throw your wallet around at this website’s command, prepare to empty it in March. There are about a half-dozen albums coming out that range from good to kickass — and that’s just the ones that old Kronos is reviewing. Close on the heels of Dodecahedron, are the young Bostonian upstarts in Replacire, a death metal band that you are about to closely follow. Do Not Deviate is their sophomore effort, and if they get better with age, their third album will be a force to be reckoned with. As it stands, Do Not Deviate is a cohesive, florid, and adventurous piece of music that’s as inventive as it is catchy, and as well-thought-out, as it is heavy. And it’s damn heavy.

Like a lot of modern tech/prog death metal bands, Replacire are clearly inspired by The Faceless1, and the tight, rapid-fire chuggy riffs that made the latter so successful are very important to these songs. Yet Replacire‘s influences are far broader than your average Unique Leader act, and Do Not Deviate seems to pull from AnataUnexpect, and even a little bit of Demilich. Winding melodies, powerful clean vocals, and a spooky, gothic atmosphere not too far off from Revocation‘s Deathless share space with technical drumming and razor-sharp guitar performances here, and all are pulled together by a composition that uses repetition intelligently and has surprises waiting around every corner.

“Horsestance” forgoes an intro and jumps straight into beefed-up Unexpect riffing and catches you right off guard when Evan Berry breaks out his clean vocals and takes the track from interesting to great. “Act, Re-enact” keeps the momentum going with some Revocation-isms, but it’s the third track, “Built Upon the Grave of He Who Bends” where things really get cooking. It’s in many ways half Demilich; the title is obtuse but less than a paragraph long, and it lives off of complicated, groovy riffs and scintillating leads but throws in a few less complex sections to counterpoint their difficulty. It’s the first song off of Do Not Deviate that really gets lodged in your head, and it combines melody with technicality perfectly, clean vocals cruising over choppy syncopated rhythm. A little bit later on, “Cold Repeater” sets up its simple melody in the intro, but keeps you waiting for a few minutes to hear it again, only to axe the song in two and introduce a new but related melodic paradigm to pair with it in the song’s second half. It’s a great success in progressive songwriting. And speaking of prog, the mid-album piano interlude, “Reprise,” does exactly what it says on the tin, expanding upon the vocal melody from “Horsestance” for a little over a minute before the B-side kicks in. The re-use is clever, since the melody never got quite enough play in the original song and it really ties together the A-side of Do Not Deviate.

Replacire cover the more brutal side of their compositions with a dexterity close to that of Omnihility, but it’s in the progressive and melodic aspects of their songs that the band really succeed. The album’s title track strikes a good balance between brutality and technicality, at one point placing tapped leads right above drop-dead simple chugging and in between syncopated hits that are backed up with a hint of a piano. Immediately after, “Spider Song” cranks out another monstrously catchy groove and earworm vocal melody, ensuring that the album’s second half has plenty of its own pyrotechnics.

Do Not Deviate melds technicality with personality for an album that’s immediately recognizable and tough to fault. Its songs are concise and catchy while also brutal and twisted in their own right, and the band’s holistic approach to writing keeps them memorable without being predictable. “Built upon the Grave of He Who Bends” and “Spider Song” showcase a perfect mix of weirdness and musicianship that’s indicative of a band on their way to the top, and though I can’t say I got in on the ground floor — that would be 2012’s awesomely titled The Human Burden — I’ll run down those stairs as soon as the maelstrom of March super-releases is over. Buy this album, listen to it a lot, and plan for less vacancy on your year-end list.

 


Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320kbps mp3
Label: Season of Mist
Websites: replacire.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/replacire
Releases Worldwide: March 17th, 2017

Show 1 footnote

  1. How’s that album coming along, Keene? You can still beat Suiçmez if you hurry.

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  • AngryMetalBird

    This sound awesome! My wallet! I curse you AMG!!!

    • basenjibrian

      I feel like the AMG staff are some kind of SEKRET VAMPYRE KULT whose only purpose for writing here is the glorious experience of draining our bank accounts.

      • DrewMusic

        “If we can’t have any money, no one can!”

  • Ferrous Beuller

    I’ve been hoping we’d review this. “Cold Repeater” is a total jam.

    • Eli Valcik

      Same, saw this pop up on bandcamp awhile ago and it grabbed my interest.

    • ashcindersmoke

      Look behind you!

  • Pedro Morini Mietto

    I don’t think I can pronounce the name of this band.

  • Reaper

    Everything Evan Berry does is gold, he is also Wilderun’s singer.

    • GardensTale

      How to get everyone on AMG interested 101: namedrop Wilderun.

      • Diego Molero

        Well, they fully deserve it!

      • Drew Music

        Eh… for American bands making that kind of metal, they are solid, I’ll give them that. However, every time I see everyone fawning over them I feel like I need to visit Ghost Reveries and Blackwater Park at Ye Olde Metal Nursing Home and let them know that someone still remembers them. I like them here and there I suppose, but I’ve just never felt like Wilderun took me anywhere new, or at even gave me all that standout of a tour through such well tread, hallowed grounds.
        Seriously, between them, Fleshgod and Pallbearer, half the time I feel like I’m facing an army of naked emperors declaring their fashion superiority. I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve tried, what is it that you people see??? I live in a nowhere town in a nowhere state where no one lives and they don’t talk about metal, I want to gush over as many bands as I can with as many people as I can, but I want to want to gush over them, myself, dammit, and those bands just don’t do it for me, woe Discordia.
        Rabble rabble rabble.

        • Zach Ward

          You should try ahab. Ha… ha.. no one ever talks about them like they do wilderun….. makes me pretty sad actually… I might just cry

          • Drew Music

            I’ll definitely check them out, thanks! I like the soundscape Wilderun play through, I just don’t find anything new there when I wander with them, I’ll always give anyone making that kind of music a shot though.

          • Zach Ward

            Ahab are not really like that though.. I just said them because almost everyone on here says Sleep at the Edge of the Earth is one of the Greatest albums ever, and while I do love it, I’m just salty because I think ahab had a better album that year…

          • Drew Music

            Ah, gotcha. Well luckily for me that’s not even remotely my favorite type of metal, so that wasn’t a requirement. I’ll check out Ahab whenever Dodecahedron let’s me, just ordered the clear Kwintessens vinyl and now the digital download has me in its twisted grasp.

          • Uh, Dave-Fi does. All the time.

        • A Feed From Cloud Mountain

          Thanks for “Ye Olde Metal Nursing Home,” which I’ll now be using when I describe Opeth’s pre-Heritage albums.

        • [not a Dr]

          uau, why no […] […]

    • Dr. Wvrm

      Really nice fellow, he’s single-handedly whipping Boston’s metal scene into respectability.

    • Chris

      Wait…what?

      No wonder I’m digging this so much.

  • El_Cuervo

    Did someone say Evan Berry? I sense a tingling in my nether-regions…

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Tingling in the nether regions? That would be dingleberry.

      • The Unicorn

        Tingle in the dingle!

  • sir_c

    music sounds good, album cover could very well have been Megadeth’s Live In Tokyo.

  • When I saw the album cover I thought this was going to be crap, but it’s certainly up there with the best of the month. I haven’t loved anything this month, but there’s been a lot of very good stuff. The only slightly weak spot here is that the clean vocals sound a bit weak. It’s pretty great otherwise though.

    • metalcasket

      One does not simply doubt Evan Berry’s clean vocals.

      • I don’t doubt. I know.

        • metalcasket

          You know nothing, Shangsean.

  • Tom Hardy

    That album art looks like a bad knock off of any of Dan Seagrave’s covers. And the same sentiment carries to their music. Uneventful and boring. They pack a lot of riffs per song that really do nothing to excite.

    • Name’s Dalton

      Well look who’s back! Hiya, Tom!

      Just so happens I’m watching Mad Max: Fury Road (taking a break to order some burgers).

      • Tom Hardy

        Hey there Dalton, I remember you and cheers. This tea I’m drinking is doing me no good, where’s the whiskey …

    • Welcome back sir. Have any of 2017’s releases to date caught your interest at all?

      • Tom Hardy

        I quite enjoy both of those releases, the later a little more. While there’s much to be heard, Deathspell Omega’s last effort towards the end of 2016 is the album to beat. Check out the new Succumb s/t.

    • Zach Ward

      Please use this album in the new mad max movie. I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

      • Tom Hardy

        Haha! Cheers mate *clink*

    • Nag Dammit

      Jeez Tom. Sounds like they’re the bane of your life.

  • Luke_22

    Wow, this sounds killer. Nice review.

  • Bought.

  • John Mosley

    Sounds right up my filthy alley.

  • Nate Sweet

    Not only is my wallet getting burned from albums, now you are showing me bands that I live next to! Have you no mercy?

  • Jrod1983

    Hell yeah this album kicks ass!

  • Chris

    This album is gorram brilliant. It’s been in near-constant spin mode for me this week.

    Oh, and please stop mentioning Unexpect. It makes me horribly depressed.

    • [not a Dr]

      You just mentioned them again: now I’m depressed too.
      Let’s hope Vvon Dogma I helps us cope with the loss.

  • The Unicorn
    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Glad to see you’re back!

      • The Unicorn

        Separation and moved into condo- tough times. Have my boy tonight/this weekend so a happy camper. Good to be back on the horse…errr…Unicorn.

        • Bas

          Sorry to hear that… Good to still see you around! Enjoy the weekend with you son !!!

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          Sad to hear that… What’s important is not how many times you fall but getting up again every time you fall. I hope you enjoy a great weekend with your boy. Maybe you can teach him to superimpose unicorn heads on Metal bands’ pictures!

        • jersey devil

          “Separation and moved into condo” ??!! That is exactly what I am doing this week. (You mean separation from wife right?) Tough times indeed.

          • The Unicorn

            Yeah it blows man. Good luck, let the metal keep you strong.

  • Ivan E. Rection

    Inspired by The Faceless? Why would any band be that?

  • Adrian Rigter

    Looks like 2017 belongs to Season of Mist.

    • Tom Hardy

      Not for this album, fortunately.

  • METAL OTTER

    After the appearance of antlers on the cover art of 3 consecutive AMG-reviewed albums, I’m happy to see that the trend has come to an en… godammit infinity antlers now??!

  • Innit Bartender

    They drink wine. They’re softies.

  • BernBern17

    yeah, nah, not too fucking bad ay.

  • Excentric_13073

    Pro Tip: The Bandcamp stream is way better than the embedded Youtube clip. I wonder if Youtube does some sort of compression on the sound.

    • Sean Sky

      There’s no wondering; it’s a known fact that YouTube compresses / normalizes audio. That’s why I avoid YouTube for music as much as possible.

  • Willem Stander

    I think this is what Strapping Young Lad would have sounded like had Devy carried on yeah. Great review and thank you for the find Kronos!

  • This record is awesome! Thanks K.

  • contenderizer

    happy to be out of step on this one. irritating most of the time, awful when the clean vocals kick in.

  • Sean Sky

    Only listened once so far but loving it right now.

  • Jeremy Freeman

    Not sure what the reviewer is hearing, I hear s#%t. lol

  • h_f_m

    It’s funny after running through the last 4 or 5 pages of reviews, I started scrolling down far enough to see the embed, but not the score. First 5 seconds on the song I said 4. .. 4 it is

  • Philip Osburn

    I get a bit of BTBAM, The Faceless, and The Red Chord from the guys. Funny thing is, I’m digging this album, but I don’t really care for those first three bands that much.

  • Tofu muncher

    is it just me does the riffing (in the embedded track) sound suspiciously djent-ish (which doesn’t do it for me)?