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I don't know where to begin with now when I start writing all this down...here's Regurgitate's 3rd full-length CD which I bought somewhat blindly. I simply wanted a Regurgitate CD but there was no Carnivorous Erection in the store so I looked at this one and noticed the song Waging War On Benevolence in the track list. I had seen the vid of that particular song and thought the song kicked ass so without a doubt I bought this one expecting to get a stereotypical Regurgitate CD i.e. Carnivorous Erection but instead it was something very different.
Let's start with the vocals. Now when I said I expected a stereotypical Regurgitate release I meant brutal grindcore music with pitch shifted gurgle vocals all over it. Now there is pitch shifted vocals here but Rikard does more high pitched shrieks here and much less gurgles. Almost everything here is screaming and the old pitch shifted gurgles only appear in certain songs. And even then it's just one or maybe a couple sections of those songs.
And the song titles (these guys don't write any lyrics so I'll just talk about the titles) weren't what I was expecting either. There's not too much "I Wanna Kill" or "To Boil A Corpse" here but more mature and less gory themes such as "Embrace Obscenity And Kiss The Eruption Of Destruction", "Annihilation Meets Depravation", "Systematic Demoralization" and "Life Falls Before Our Feet". Couple names like "Drowning In Filth", "Visions Of Sodomy", "Lobotochrist" and "Twisted Rhymes Of Perversion" are more similar to their old ideas but other than that their attitude has changed a lot on this album.
Instruments however didn't surprise me so much, maybe a more raw production could have been expected.
So apparently Regurgitate had chosen a whole new direction with Deviant and left their earlier characteristics for less. At first I was kinda disappointed with all this stuff though I still thought the music is awesome. But later on I started to realize what this CD is truly all about; melody, darkness, atmosphere. And as soon as I got it, I started looking at Deviant open-mindedly in a whole different view and loved it all over.
Production is very dark and atmospheric here but it's still clear and you can hear all instruments well. Guitar tone is something really....different. It's not like distorted to fucking hell though it's still heavily distorted but it sounds more ear-friendly than you'd expect and it's also like really dark and kind of melodic, I can't really explain it. There's like a kind of melody in every riff on this CD, even when the band is just smashing chords for straight up brutality there's still a kind of darkly melodic atmosphere all over it. You'll be able to either madly headbang to the music or sit down and concentrate on the atmosphere and darkness.
There is actually couple solos in this record as well. From out of 27 songs and 32 minutes of kick-ass goregrind there is 2 guitar solos added in and performed by none other than the band's own Urban Skytt. First solo appears on "The Ultimate Enslavement". Now this solo isn't very special or anything, just some mindless shred for couple seconds and that's it. Then the other solo occurs in "Crossed Out Existence", this time with very thoughtful composition and good melody. In the middle of the song the drums and vocals go all silent leaving the guitars in with a pretty weird riff and then the other instruments kick in again and the solo comes. Again, it's short and just couple seconds long but the solo still has some great mood and melody in it.
Bass guitar is quite audible all over the album but really distorted and down tuned. Plus Johan is using a pick and thus making the bass guitar sound even more raw and less ear-friendly. This is very easy to notice in parts where guitars go silent and you can only hear the bass with possible drums in the background but it's no negative aspect or anything. In fact it really adds something to the already dark atmosphere of Deviant.
And certain sections in most of these songs do indeed have some melodic yet very heavy guitar work put in there. They may have taken some influence from the Swedish melodeath (Gothenburg) or maybe these guys just wanted to try something new. The riffing on Deviant differs from straight up chord smash riffs to some more groove based stuff to this melodic and really atmospheric guitar work, for example the opening riffs in "Seal Your Doom" and "Exterminate The Virtuous" and especially the final track "Life Falls Before Our Feet". Now this song is certainly the epitome of dark and melodic grindcore atmosphere, starting with a slow and breath-taking riff then going on with another brilliantly dark riff pelted with atmosphere. Drum beat goes fast here and the vocals kick in too. Soon the riff changes again to a more heavy based guitar work. The song builds up to a blast beat at the end while taking in a completely mind-blowing and atmospherically crushing riff with very aggressive scream vocals in the background. The song finally finishes with a long regurgitating scream of Rikard Jansson as the drums stop and this same amazing riff then slowly fades away. You must actually listen to this song all the way through, then you'll know exactly what I mean.
The drummer is a huge plus to this album and the overall sound of the band since he does NOT use any triggers at all! After getting used to constant tic-tic-tic-tic sound of loud and triggered drums in numerous brutal bands it is always a great thing to notice a band who still does it the old school way with nothing but raw power. No mechanized and fake shit here, just a real good drummer. Not to mention the mix is perfect. Double bass is all the way audible and the snare sounds great. Blast beats here aren't as fast as some of the most extreme death metal or grind bands out there like Rotten Sound, Brain Drill, Devourment, Last Days Of Humanity, Cliteater, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Nile etc. but I still think Jocke Petersson does great job here. At least he's a lot faster than the drummer in *cough* Cannibal Corpse....
Then we have Rikard Jansson and his awesome pitch shifted alien gutturals and very high banshee shrieks. His scream vocals are good and they sound pretty natural. It's obvious that Rikard doesn't need to force out any of those screams he delivers on Deviant and he has indeed specialized himself for this. And as said before, he now focuses on the screams and does relatively little gurgle vocals on this album but he does deliver some "normal" growls too. There's these high-ass shrieks and extreme low gurgles but Rikard also does some growls in between. Maybe he did it because it sounds cool or he wanted 3 dimensions for his vocals, I can't tell. But at the end he does some awesome job on this record and I enjoyed Rikard's vocals all over.
Now if you're madly in love with the old Regurgitate work and just want more records like that from these guys, there is no way you could appreciate this. But if you do love Effortless Regurgitation and Carnivorous Erection but also have an open mind for something new, there is a chance for you to like this CD like I do. If you're new to this band this is probably a solid introduction for you. If you just like grindcore in general you'll certainly like this. If you only like some grindcore that has intelligence and brilliance in it, there's no way you could dislike this CD. But if you hate all grindcore in general, this probably won't change your mind. I can't really recommend this to any certain groups of people, maybe you'll just like the aggression and brutality in here. But the only way to truly appreciate this awesome record is to see the creativity, the musical maturity and the genius aspects in it.
Horns up for this one. I hope this band will live long!