Following up to 2012’s debut The Human Burden was always going to be a case of refinement over redefinition. Boston outfit REPLACIRE‘s sophomore record is sure to become an early contender for album of the year. The influences can be picked apart, with DEATH being the main inspirator yet certain progressive elements can be found throughout the album reminiscent of CYNIC. The band pushes forward intense technicality without making it ever sound completely robotic and computerised, an astounding feat for a band of this genre.
The album opens with the chaotic Horsestance, immediately letting you know there’s no chance of turning the aggression down. The song pounds away with their trademark clean vocals coming into place between the monstrous riffs, setting them apart from other bands in this field. That’s not to say that they’ve gone soft in any sense, the technicality of the riffs is up with the best, songs such as Any Promise and Moonbred Chains showcase the bands use of syncopation, odd time signatures and incredibly intricate guitar work, the latter of which including a scorcher of a solo from band founder Eric Alper before returning to the chaos.
The band isn’t just meat and potatoes technicality however, the melodic and moody Reprise is a piano piece, something not heard often in this field of metal. It fits completely naturally however, brandishing an eerie feel which leads into the second half of the album. Another highlight from the second half is the titular track, exploding out which a quick paced attack. The vocals here sound monstrous with each passage only getting more and more otherworldly, separated only by some jazzy interludes very reminiscent of THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN. This track also showcases the incredible production of the album, the bass is clearly audible and along with the guitars create a massive wall of sound, only stopping the onslaught to keep in time with the incredibly off beat timings of the drums. Put all this together and this song is sure to become a headbangers dream when played live.
The closer, Enough for One, refuses to pull any punches, leading straight into a low churned riff offset with minor intervals, before leading into another note perfect solo. The solo epitomises the band’s prowess before leading into one final flourish of chaos, leaving the listener gasping for more after the abrupt silence remains. If the band’s third output is anything like the leap forward of this album then REPLACIRE will certainly be a band to look out for.
Do Not Deviate is set for release on March 17th via Season of Mist.
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