Replacire – Do Not Deviate (Or So They Claim)

Here’s something I’m pretty sure of now. If I say the opposite of basically everyone else out there pretending to be a critic, it’s correct. End of story. Especially with technical death metal, which, yes, this is. Boston’s Replacire I have to give credit to for staying so true to their look. Thus, Do Not Deviate is incredibly accurate for that fact alone. They’re sticking to the same artist, whose name is Brendon Flynn, and it’s nowhere in the promo or anything. Typical, and it annoys the piss out of me when an artist, especially one as talented as this one, is left largely overlooked. It took me a short while to find the name, and I shouldn’t have to do that for someone you’re paying to do the cover. I mean, really, that would be like me reviewing this album and stripping the name from it, from everywhere, and acting like I didn’t know what band it was. Just reviewing some old album here, yep, no need to mention who wrote all the music in it. See? But, I won’t fault these guys for not mentioning Brendon, as it has nothing to do with them, most likely, and it completely avoids discussing the music if I do. But, hey, it gave me something of an introduction, so let’s move on after this sentence.


Replacire have been making some noise for the technical death metal fanbase since their first release, The Human Burden, and sites I hate have given them praise, so why not me? Just to be different? Come on now you know me already. Listen for once. Technical death metal too often tries to appease your sense of “wow” by being needlessly complex and confrontational, musically, while at the same time relying on the same structures, ironically. At times it sounds like a bunch of finger-tapping, practically, and of course I mean that in a more metaphorical sense. Imagine, if you will, a bunch of piano composers who only write their songs in endless staccato, and that’s about what this genre sounds like, but metal, and for some reason people are okay with that. The genre comes with a requirement of trying too hard to impress with skill, rather than feeling, energy, and presence. Often, also, without creativity. That’s the issue, sorry. I’ve heard plenty of bands like this, constantly praised as the next big thing, but always “making it”, as far as you can in metal at least, only among the bizarre technical niche that seems happy with living in staccato. “How can we be like Ulcerate and sound even worse?” asks the technical death metal band. Replacire is thankfully not on that level, but their newest, Do Not Deviate, finds its greatest fault in it does just the opposite, and too much. It’s really the same problem I mentioned above, just not as irritating. I can appreciate some mind-bending, riff-warping craziness, and these guys did it to me a number of times without pissing me off. They pull out some echoing clean vocals for some truly wonderful moments, piano, perhaps harpsichord once or twice, they twirl their riffs around, they toss a harmonic or too so we give the devil horns, then they’re on to the next track. If it weren’t for some stellar passages that mix an excellent level of vocals with riff, and some riffs that manage to stick heavily, this would be yet another technical death metal release that technically sucks. Strangely I found the piano-only track, “Reprise,” the best out of all of them. Let’s just face it, technical death metal is usually just Tarkus by Emerson, Lake & Palmer with a lot of distortion and growling. Everyone talks about these guys being the next band to follow, but I’ll wait to do that until they stop trying to impress me and just start playing.


Replacire Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Replacire: Do Not Deviate
Season of Mist
3.4 / 5