Perhaps I should get this out of the way first, with no foreplay whatsoever: Deviant Process’ new debut album is possibly the best debut record that has come out this year so far for me, as well as one of the best and most confident debuts I’ve heard in a while. The technical death metal band from Quebec, Canada released their new album, Paroxysm, a few weeks ago. To be honest, I haven’t been listening to much heavy stuff lately. Thus, this record was incredibly refreshing to me.
Quite a lot stands out on Paroxysm, and I noticed a resounding Opeth quality to the record, but it was considerably more brutal. The album offered no clean vocals, but still manages a variety of vocal ranges: wailing screams, some relentlessly deep pig-squeals and consistent death growls.
After listening to the album from beginning to end, I realized that Paroxysm doesn’t stop for ANYTHING. Think of The Faceless’ Akeldama, where the phrasings of blast-beats are seemingly infinitesimal. Even old releases by Between the Buried and Me are quite similar. The few breaks sprinkled in the beginning or end of songs are crisp and flow right into the following song. The grooviest of these is the intro and middle section to “Unconscious,” which reminded me of Strawberry Girls, or anything Kurt Travis has been part of.
Paroxysm is, in two words, all riffs. Deviant Process grind away at unstoppable guitar work; it is chaotic at a glance, and yet melodically compliments the underlying riffing. You’ll even find random bass solos here and there, notably in the first two songs: “Unconscious,” and “Narcissistic Rage.” To say the least, Paroxysm is eclectic as heck.
Although the drumming does have some pretty amazing moments, you can expect and predict a lot of what is coming. Aside from the presiding progressive death metal influence on the drumming, the other biggest influence I noted was jazz. I also commend the drummer for insanely rapid transitioning, especially from short blast-beat phrases to some tricky fills. Such transitions occur frequently throughout the album, but it’s incredible to try to follow, considering that I am a drummer myself.
Since almost every song is at least six or seven minutes long, everyone in the band is really putting forth their all. As I said before, this album does not stop for anything, and the talent here is unrelenting. For a group of four, I am utterly amazed, especially considering that their vocalist, who downpours brutal rage, also plays guitar in the band. These guys are sick.
One thing to note—and I noticed this immediately after the first song—is that Paroxysm is recorded incredibly well, especially for a debut record. This band only has about 1,400 likes on Facebook, and this needs to change. It needs to.
Possibly my favorite song on the record was “As the End Begun,” an eight-and-a-half minute masterpiece. The first minute-and-a-half was comprised of classical guitar work (again, that awesome Opeth influence), and then immediately transitions into a riffing explosion. And in the final thirty seconds, there’s a false drop that would signify the end, but continues until the song fades out. Another notable song is the title track, an instrumental composed of unending solos mixed with solid jazz drumming. Even the bass guitar is melodic here, and stands out until the song fades.
One of the only complaints that I have about Paroxysm is how much it seems to rely on blast-beats, asit almost makes a few of the songs sound the same. In spite of this, Deviant Process has possibly one of the most promising albums out this year so far, and it’s worth every penny. I have no idea what they’ll do to follow up this album, but I’m sure it will be incredible. This band only has about 1,400 likes on Facebook, and this needs to change.
It needs to.
Notable Tracks: “Narcissistic Rage,” “As the End Begun,” “Paroxysm.”
FFO: Opeth, The Faceless, Between the Buried and Me.