Replicant – Infinite Mortality (Transcending Obscurity)

Monday, 22nd April 2024
Rating: 9 / 10

Irony is in the name of Replicant; the New Jersey death metal troupe of which is today’s subject. Their music is certainly no replica of anything, being a truly avant-garde outfit that diverges technical, brutal, and old school stylings amongst wildly varying song structures. Having been a band for a decade now, they’ve released three full-lengths thus far, arriving at their latest, Infinite Mortality. Predecessor Malignant Reality was an enjoyable thrashing, with plenty for any death metal connoisseur to nod in approval to, while also having room for growth. Grow these gentlemen did.

What’s on offer with Infinite Mortality is a new evolution of the band’s hard to pin down sound. A wild creativity is on display that ascends to previously unreached heights, with the music being tightened while boasting chunky, slamming riffs to which increase the level of depraved mercilessness. Technicality is off the charts, as the band metastasises fervent acts of skill while not losing all important musicality – a trap many have fallen into that Replicant adeptly avoids. Brutality right out of the gate is “Acid Mirror” bursting with frenzied guitar chugs and squeals, blazing away at a frantic pace. The lead work notably adds a shadowy mood to the annihilation, providing needed variance. The riff onslaught continues by hand of “Shrine to the Incomprehensible,” this time with added dissonance and nifty hints of groove spicing the dish up.

Continuing on, entries like “Reciprocal Abandonment” provide monstrous guitars with a major dose of murky discordance, once again resulting in wholly smart and effective death metal. “Pain Enduring” is simply made for people smashing each other to bits in a volatile mosh pit, boasting hardcore intensity and deathly crunch that deftly avoids the pesky deathcore label, while also being shockingly catchy. “Nekrotunnel” is a rhythmic rumination of a good time to keep the energetic vibes going, while closer “Planet of Skin” is something else entirely. Intricate and much more restrained that the rest of the album, Replicant opt for an atmosphere heavy closer that slows the tempo and dials up the malevolence akin to Nightmarer’s contorted creations.

Aside from the music in general being measurably more impactful than before, the band’s songwriting acumen is the spark that allows all of the instrumentation to shine. The band also doesn’t shy away from experimentation, which ultimately has led to an expansion of their sound while not losing any of their core pieces. Obviously much thought and care was placed into Infinite Mortality, with the spoils of such effort clearing being showcased.

Quite simply, Replicant’s latest clicks on every conceivable point. Fury and off the charts aggression converge with silky songwriting and a willingness to seek out new approaches add up to one hell of a pleasant surprise. Infinite Mortality places Replicant firmly in the conversation of upper echelon death metal acts, offering an ambitious record that’s easy to dive into and will get stuck within your ear holes. Any self-respecting fellow death metal freak would be doing themselves an immense disservice by not checking this delightful concoction out.

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