Bringing a hybrid of progressive and technical death metal with copious amounts of fusion elements to it, Boston based Replacire are one of a multitude of bands out there who for, the next wave of technical based metal. Following up their 2012 debut “The Human Burden”, “Do Not Deviate” offers more of the same, a storm of twisting dissonance with polyrhythmic abuse in absurd levels. With people likening this ambitious outfit to ‘Opeth meets The Faceless with some Death influences’, it seems like there is high praise for this group.

Whilst some may agree this praise is exactly what the band deserve, I find myself on the fence. Not because I cannot stand Opeth and anything compared to them, but more because despite me being a fan of the progressive and technical sides of death metal, it just doesn’t live up to my expectations which, unfortunately for Replacire, were set by the likes of Cynic, Death, Psycroptic and Meshuggah.

With this standard to measure the band against, it would seem unfair on Replacire, but in the current djent/tech realms, there are so many pretenders out there and very few bands who actually stand out. Yes, the musicianship of this band is not to be faulted. The intricate passages, turbulent and twisting riffs, machine like drums, raw and powerful vocal growls and excellent use of space available in the songs all show a level of proficiency in composition, but the end product, despite how precise it is, simply fails to excite me.

The dissonant stabs, frantic feeling sections and constantly shifting time signatures don’t always settle into something which has a kind of flow behind it and as the album progresses, this is evident. Opening track “Horsestance” has the heaviness and aggression needed to get the attention, but it feels too forced and comes across lacking any sense of organic feel. This problem persists through the album and despite flashes of brilliance or ingenuity, it doesn’t stick or take hold.

“Any Promise” hits hard, bringing a more aggressive edge to the sound as opposed to the more fusion orientated sections and it does have some subtle flow and groove to it whilst “Moonbred Chains” really shows the bands flair and proficiency. Blending a Meshuggah like groove with Cynic styled sounds, it’s by far the standout moment of the album but after this, there isn’t much else going for it.

It may be a short record, clocking in round the 40 minute mark, which does have some potential for replayability, but that is essentially it. A quick experience of wall-like noise, atonal and angular sounds delivered on a turbulent rhythm with complex intricacies as its selling point but little else in terms of marketability.

Maybe Replacire would benefit from heeding the advice in this release’s title and sticking to one direction or method of musical delivery because this one currently feels like it’s on the back of a Yodel van!

(4/10 Fraggle)