Every enduring subgenre needs regular doses of reinvention, and death metal is no different. Hailing from Boston, one of the world’s epicentres of leftfield heaviness, tech-metal oddballs Replacire seem to have conjured an entirely new strain of guttural extremity on their second album, Do Not Deviate. The title seems ironic when you consider how alien and warped the band’s sound has become since the release of debut album The Human Burden in 2012.
“The title started as a joke,” explains guitarist and founder member Eric Alper. “We always used to say, ‘Do not deviate from the plan!’ It’d always be the five of us trying to do something band-related or even just going to get food, and it was always, ‘We could do this… or we could do this… or this!’ It was crazy. So we had to decide to just do things and not make everything so complicated. ‘Do not deviate’ became our motto. But it’s also about being on a path in life and how you just have to keep moving forward. The world is tough but you’ve just got to stay true.”
While undeniably progressive in intent, Replacire are no slaves to self-indulgence. Many of their peers might explore an idea across 10 labyrinthine minutes, but Eric and his bandmates have matured into masters of brevity and impact, cramming ludicrous amounts of ideas into three-minute eruptions of insanely precise (but curiously accessible) brutality.
“We have the prog label on us, so people expect long songs. But I’ve always been a fan of grindcore and punk,” says Eric. “I love Black Flag and I love Retox, you know? That stuff is short, fast and in your face. Our song Horsestance is only two-and-a-half minutes long and it just kinda happened. We just had these fast, crazy riffs and we put them together. We got to the end of the song and said, ‘Is that it? OK, that’s it!’ and we didn’t fight it. Some of the songs are short bursts of chaos and I like that!”
With a unique sound and plans to tour as much as is humanly possible, Replacire seem destined to make a significant mark. One question remains, however: what the actual fuck is a replacire?
“Well, it’s kind of a secret, but I’ll share it with you,” the guitarist grins. “It’s just my name backwards, ha ha!” Who says metal can’t be inventive?
Do Not Deviate is out now via Season Of Mist