Tech Death Thursday: Nurture from Deviant Process
Hi, this is Jimmy taking over a shift of Tech Death duty and giving Spear a break, because there’s an upcoming album that I really need to tell you about: Nurture is only the sophomore release from a relatively new, technical death metal band named Deviant Process, but we had to wait more than five years for this new material. After the first couple of those years, they slipped out from underneath my radar: either we hadn’t been receiving much news from the band in that period of time, or I hadn’t been listening hard enough. Whatever happened, it was long enough that their music slowly left my rotation and I would just occasionally stop by their BandCamp page to jam that TDT masterpiece (IMHO) from the days of yore. But then a new album was announced, seemingly out of the blue, and its release date was coming very soon afterwards. Well, let’s not wait any longer to answer the very question on every person’s mind: WAS IT WORTH THE WAIT?
Of course it was! This is extremely good, highly skilled, tech death that’s right on par what what they gave us back in 2015 with that debut LP Paroxysm. It’s every bit as good. So if that was a 3.5 for you, the new one will be a 3.5; and if you happen to like it as as much as I did, then this will be a 4.5 for you too. What this means is that there isn’t a gigantic deviation in sound going from freshman release to sophomore. No major overhauls have taken place, and for that I am thankful.
Who is Deviant Process? A new listener might ask. Well to me, they are potentially the masters of songwriting in the tech death arena. These musicians are incredibly skilled, and those skills are all displayed tastefully within various parts of the compositions; everyone gets multiple chances to shine without the overall sound becoming too crowded or busy. I’ve heard comparisons to Atheist and Cynic, with their commitment to skilled, jazzy rhythm sections. The song structures are not formulaic nor predictable, which provides for a listening experience that will appeal to all the prog-heads out there. (If the song titles “Close to the Edge” or “La Villa Strangiato” mean anything to you, the songwriting alone should tickle your fancy.) But also each musicians is supremely talented: whether it’s a lengthy guitar solo, the bass noodling around during a slower riff, or flashy drum fills scattered throughout. Notice I never used the term “catchy”, although there are memorable, melodic portions aplenty.
In the time between releases, they must have been found by Season of Mist, somebody with the resources to help them reach a larger audience. Because of that relationship, they’re able to produce more merch, like new shirts and even vinyl! I ordered the record, which has already arrived, and it sounds phenomenal. Kudos to whomever mixed and mastered the thing, because every instrument is as clear as it needs to be (considering the fact that we are still talking about a death metal band). Nothing too sterile-sounding, but also a lot better than DIY. Sending this music to a set of decent speakers really pays off, it is well translated to the medium of vinyl.
Nurture, the next step in the band’s evolution, is eight* tracks of excellent new material that average about six minutes long each. This gives the songwriting plenty of time to breathe, offering many, many extended instrumental sections. There are plenty of solos, but also just lots of time is dedicated for vocal-less death metal, er, jamming. I truly believe that the nerdier prog-heads of the metal community are going to drool over this work. This Quebec-ian quartet of players has found the perfect meeting point of memorable songwriting and complex showmanship, brilliantly shown in the best song, “The Hammer of Dogma.”
Hop over to their BandCamp page and check out one additional single. They also have all kinds of great merch bundles now, being signed to Season of Mist. If you’re a record-head, jump on that vinyl before it sells out, you won’t regret it. Nurture drops on October 15th and it is a 4.5 flaming toilet emoji album. Deviant Process continues their streak of excellence!
(And thanks for letting me take a Tech Death Thursday.)
* Seven original and one cover.
(images via BandCamp)
Spear note: much as I like this band, if you can find a different avenue to purchase this album from, do so. Season of Mist hosts openly white supremacist bands on their sublabel, which I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you is a bad thing. Even when viewed as apathetic capitalism at absolute best, there is no room for this kind of garbage in metal. Support Deviant Process without supporting the label if possible.