“Do Not Deviate”

By Dr. Abner Mality

If you like some prog and mathy mayhem in your death metal, Replacire is worth a look. The band is a new name to me and is headed up by guitarist Eric Alper (see if you can figure out the significance of that name). Now I generally prefer a more groovy and primitive kind of death metal, but Replacire is capable of some skull-shattering stuff that also challenges the brain.

A lot of “Do Not Deviate” is full blast brutality, but mixed with the dissonance and weirdness of Meshuggah and even touches of Tool. I think the shorter songs hit harder and have more focus. The first two cuts “Horsestance” and “Act, Re-Enact” are absolutely crushing, with vocalist Evan Berry pulling up some guttural growls from the pit of his stomach. This guy handles all the vocals here and his range is pretty wild. In addition to the growls, he has some very Maynard Keenan like clean vocals he uses. Hard to believe it’s the same guy.

When Replacire plays longer songs, things tend to flatten out a lot more, although  not always. “Cold Repeater”  and “Any Promise” were tedious with their progginess, though I’m sure those inclined towards tech-death will be impressed. “Spider Song” is a longer tune that intrigues, swinging from catchy math-like riffing to Tool-like melody to outright brutality. Piano and synth pop up now and then to add some color to tunes like “Built Upon the Grave of He Who Bends” and the jazzy, almost fusion type prog of “Enough For One”. My favorite tune is the most straightforward, “Moonbred Chains”, which rips ass right from the jump.

Despite a few questionable moments, this is impressive as hell for a debut record and Replacire jam like fiends. Nice mix of death and prog.