When it comes to reviews I’m definitely one for laying down arguments and describing exactly what I did and did not like in an album. Kind of. Ok I mostly just say shitty metaphors for 1000 words, but you get the idea. I try to make my reviews have at least some logic to them. It’s been a while since I just threw that out the window and said “fuck, I just like this album”. Imma bust that shit out for this romparoo.
Deceptionist’s Initializing Irreversible Process is about a stereotypical as you can get in terms of aesthetic. Lots of tech death bands go for that monstrous, mechanical, apocalypse by machine approach that is cliche to the point of annoyance at this point. And I can say plenty of bad things about this album. The machine gunning guitars, while sounding wicked cool at first, sort of like someone drilling the mechanical components onto the body during the process of turning man into machine (which is I assume the irreversible process here), they eventually start drilling into your ears a bit too much and get annoying. The riffs, I’ll be honest, are just not great. Mediocre I would say, which means on a scale of microbrew stout to Iron City, is around Rolling Rock, if that. It’s also a tad repetitive, though I do enjoy Sunshine and Operator No.3 for having a bit more of a melodic focus, which is not to be unexpected for a brutal tech death album, but still is a negative.
But frankly, I don’t give a shit. I like it. It really executes the mechanical machine aesthetic better than almost any other tech death album I’ve heard. That machine gunning guitars feel like bolts being filled in. The riffs feel like artificial intelligence being programmed into the new abominations. The vocals even have this perfect balance between human and slightly inhuman. It’s hard to describe, but there’s this slight stoicism to the vocals that that makes it work. It doesn’t feel like some void creature is singing, but rather some flesh/steel hybrid beast, squealing both in pain of the process, yet declaring the glorious victory for the machine race.
This album doesn’t really do anything technical that I haven’t heard done before, and done better. But sometimes you don’t need that. Sometimes all you need to make an enjoyable album is to go with a theme and use music to fill the listeners imagination with that theme as much as possible. And for all of their faults Deceptionist does this in style, marking maybe not a milestone in death metal this year, but certainly a marker for how aesthetic is crafted in death metal albums for the rest of the year.