*This is a part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state*
This month’s state is Massachusetts’!
It’s time once again to shake off those Monday blues with an absolute earth-shaker of a band that are completely redefining the new-wave of technical death metal. Hailing from MA’s capital Boston are technical death metallers Replacire. Already described as “a new breath of life for the death metal genre”, Replacire have been taking the aggressiveness and complexity of modern death metal and infusing it with beautifully intricate progressive elements and technical complexity. Think of a masterminded cosmic mutation that would ensue from the intense atmosphere and progressiveness of Mikael Åkerfeldts Opeth, mixed with Obscuras and Beyond Creations technical virtuosity and death growls, with Katatonias haunting cleans and dynamacism. Whilst this may sound in print like it has been done to death (pun-intended), Replacire stand out from the sea of other technical metal artists and are certainly at the head of the pack. Who ever said that metal was dead clearly has no idea what they’re talking about, with young blood like this keeping death fresh and feeding our bloodthirsty desires, Replacire are redefining an already extensively innovative genre and they are certainly the ones to be keeping an eye on!
Replacire was the brainchild of Eric Alper in the fall of 2008 and has undergone a few line-up changes since their inception. The current line-up boasts Evan Berry on lead vocals, Stephen Pierce on guitars, Eric Alper on guitars and backing vocals, Zak Baskin on bass and Blaize Collard on drums. Their self-released debut full-length ‘The Human Burden’ in 2012 reaped critical acclaim and was launched at Nemesis Entertainments ‘Autumn Apocalypse Tour’ in Cambridge, MA with Six Feet Under, Cattle Decapitation, Wretched and Demoralizer, rapidly establishing the New Englanders place amongst the death metal heavyweights in their corner of the US. Since then they have toured extensively throughout the Northeast alongside the powerhouses that include Beyond Creation, Hate Eternal, Misery Index, and Artificial Brain – not to mention kicking-off 2016s sold-out show at the Brighton Music Hall, Allston, MA as part of Gorguts ‘Pleiades Dust’ tour with Intronaut and Brain Tentacles after being signed to Season of Mist record label that very same year.
With new material already premiered on the tour, less than 6 months later Replacires highly anticipated sophomore release and Season of Mist debut ‘Do Not Deviate’ was released on March 17th this year. The record has already caught national presses attention with the band featured in Metal Hammer and the album included in Loudwires ‘Best Metal Albums of 2017 (So Far)’, taking the band to considerable heights despite being so early into their career. On ‘Do Not Deviate’ Eric Alper commented “Our goal was to be heavier, darker, and faster than on our first album. The new material has a more cerebral edge, and different layers that reveal themselves with multiple listens. Above all our material must be completely compelling to us while writing, recording, and with every performance. We believe bands operating in that space create the most captivating music, and that’s where we want to be.”
This is a band who are already well ahead of their years in terms of phenomenal song-writing and sheer artistic talent and I was overwhelmed by what I heard when I first picked up ‘Do Not Deviate’. Undeniably, tech death records are feasts for anyone with an understanding of the diversity and complexities that can be achieved within a musical score; the richly layered riffs of varying and complex time signatures (which on the surface can sound incredibly awkward and confusing to the untrained ear) are beautifully combined with smoother tempos and experimentation for dynamic. Unlike most tech death artists out there, Replacire don’t stick to the preconceptions that come with making music of this genre. They have taken all the best parts (howling death growls, jazzy and highly complex melodies, out-of-this-world fretwork, thunderous doublebass and tom work etc) but produced a record that really has significantly upped the game and broadened the horizons for what can be achieved. ‘Do Not Deviate’ is a fantastic offering and heavily showcases Replacires magnitude and future potential. You can stream the full album below or catch them live at the end of their current US tour. Check their Facebook page for details.