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Hacride > Deviant Current Signal > Reviews > Milo
Hacride - Deviant Current Signal

Stylish, atmospheric death metal - 85%

Milo, February 4th, 2007

This album was one of my favourites of 2006 and I still scratch my head wondering why it didn’t get the rave reviews it deserved. I wrote a review for it a few days after the release and decided to delete it because it was a genuine piece of trash that didn’t describe the album as I wanted it to. In the meantime, not a single review attempt from other users. And that’s sad because this is a refreshing surprise for death metal.

Once again, France graces us with another death metal album full of personality. Deviant Current Signal is an album in which the main characteristics of the genre are represented in a competent way by the guitarwork/songwriting and the ambience notions that are, sometimes, astounding.

The riffing style adopted is more modern, avoiding the recycling of well-known, tired staples from old-school death metal. The ideas are fresher, more interesting and aggressive. The latter aspect beneficiates from a pretty good guitar tone: Pretty abrasive, without excesses in bass or treble. Start-stop-like riffs also help the “crunch”, which is even more augmented by longer, more detailed strums (which remind Occult Medicine by Yyrkoon). Speed is also present, although not constant: The breaks were developed around very energetic riffs which enforce that “story-telling” characteristic of death metal songwriting (more on that later). In some rare occasions, however, the riffs aren't as sharp as I wanted them to be, resulting in less-inspirated moments but these are few and far between. DCS is well focused.

Long time ago, death metal stopped being just “br00tal”. The better bands are finding out how important is to add meaning to their music by employing diverse tools such as original melodic touches (Wayd’s “Decadence”, which is one hell of a display of atmospheric melody). Another recorrent idea is creating a more pronunciated ambience (Scarve’s last two albums and their industrial vibe) or settling for more discreet moods (Taliándorogd’s “The Parting” and their almost relaxing death metal). DCS seems to choose the latter path. If you pay enough attention, you will be drawn to a nocturnal atmosphere that slowly emanates from the album. The band gives a more real dimension to death metal’s urban tendences by utilizing some nice and discreet effects, intros and melodies. But since these effects aren’t over-the-top, you must pay attention.

However, there are two moments where the ambience reaches its highest point. An effective way to describe that would be a comparison with something... easier to see, to witness. If you like films like Collateral, Payback, Sin City or even the recent remake of Miami Vice, you might have noticed their photography works privilege hostile, nocturnal landscapes while, at the same time, they apply a dose sense of sophistication, be via characters’ attitudes or via soundtrack. Thus, it wouldn’t be that otherworldly to find “This Place” or “Protect” in any of these films’ soundtrack. The former has an excellent section in which the main feature is a refined saxophone that offers us the perspective of someone who contemplates from above, the city in its noturnal quietude and decadence. “Protect” offers the same view, but this time around, the saxophone is alternated with a chaotic structure that represents our now vivacious panorama. The high speed break adds dynamic, and they are also present in other songs, making the album to sound like Miami Vice recorded in CD!

All in all, Deviant Current Signal is a pretty good, original album. It has also a lot of class. A nice experience/experiment in death metal that you must listen to with attention. Recommended.