Replicant
Malignant Reality


3.8
excellent

Review

by Fernando Alves STAFF
September 12th, 2021 | 35 replies


Release Date: 09/10/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: As cliché as it may sound, Malignant Reality is somewhat of a logical step for the band.

It comes as no surprise that if you Google "Replicant" you'll get something like "(in science fiction) a genetically engineered or artificial being created as an exact replica of a particular human being", or maybe some link directing you to Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic - Blade Runner. In either case, the concept attached to this fictional character is not only linked to New Jersey's dissonant death metallers for aesthetic or cinematic reasons; it reveals, intentionally or not, that the lads' music carries strong influences from two main entities - Gorguts and Demilich. Therefore, the concept behind "replicant" is somewhat appropriate to the band's output for different, but intertwined reasons. Their debut full-length release, Negative Life, embodied this stylistic duality by unabashedly unveiling Replicant’s primary inspirations. I love it when an artist isn’t afraid to disclose his references; it is both a sign of confidence and a show of respect for those who preceded him.

Malignant Reality follows the same path as its precursor but now dressed in a slightly more modern outfit, much due to its sound engineering that intended to carry the band into the new decade in a more sci-fi(ish), synthetic wrapper; something that in my opinion was not entirely successful. I will come back to this later; for now, it is important to note that Malignant Reality is a high-quality offering. Songs such as 'Caverns of Insipid Reflection', 'Coerced to Be' or 'Dressed in Violence' are among the best the band has ever produced. Replicant's sound signature keeps swinging between Gorguts and Demilich, with the former being more visible in the riffs and vocals (strongly inspired by Luc Lemay's rather schizoid delivery) and the latter in the mid-paced grooves that sprout all over the place. Everything, of course, wrapped in a modern dissonant package that brings those nineties influences to 2021, thus giving them some contemporaneity while adapting them to the band's DNA. The Pestilence-esque riffs in 'Death Curse' and 'Coerced to Be', or the brutal death metal textures in 'Excess Womb', 'Chassis of Deceit' and 'Dressed in Violence', are other ingredients that bring some extra excitement and entertainment to the mix. However, despite this hybrid scenario and top-notch performances by the entire crew, I couldn't help but feel a one-dimensional overlay, as if the entire soundscape was somehow compressed into a flat shape, lacking the necessary spaces, dynamism, and atmosphere. Greater ambiance and gap between parts would not only benefit the overall drama and the schizoid experimentalism of songs like 'Ektoskull' or 'The Ubiquity of Time’, but would also catapult Malignant Reality's sci-fi surroundings to a whole new level.

As cliché as it may sound, Malignant Reality is somewhat of a logical step for the band. It not only continues to carry the core ingredients of Negative Life but also succeeds in introducing some new nuances, even if these haven't been perfectly materialized by sound engineering. It's debatable whether the New Jersey lads managed to surpass their debut album or if Malignant Reality totally lived up to expectations. One thing is for certain, though - it solidifies Replicant as one of today's most interesting dissonant death metal powerhouses, and that, my friends, not even Ridley Scott or Harrison Ford would disagree.




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Comments:Add a Comment 
TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
September 12th 2021


16623 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Some brief thoughts on the Replicant's sophomore release. Great jam, although I feel sound engineering could have taken a different approach.



Full stream:

http://youtu.be/RGaySkL6epo

http://replicantband.bandcamp.com/album/malignant-reality-dissonant-death-metal



Edit: I just noticed this is my 100th review. Time does fly ;)

Digging: Aborted - ManiaCult

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
September 12th 2021


20740 Comments


great review as always. love your writing style. very succinct while actually making substantial observations about the music. its honestly harder to do that it seems.

im excited to hear this, but your gripe about production seems to apply to a large portion of these osdm revival bands at the moment. same stock Roland TD drum samples, VST guitar distortion all wrapped up in a hard limited compressor is really watering down and sort of normalizing an "osdm" sound that i find rather annoying.

still, gonna spin and probably enjoy it regardless. cheers!

Digging: Morta Skuld - For All Eternity

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
September 12th 2021


16623 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Thanks, I appreciate it.

Give it a spin despite my remarks, you may have a different feeling/opinion.

ShadowRemains
September 12th 2021


26636 Comments


album cover reminds me of imperative imperceptible impulse

trilo
September 12th 2021


4025 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review, and a cool album. not gonna end up a top album of the year but it’s a solid slab of dm

Digging: Replicant - Malignant Reality

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
September 12th 2021


16623 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Thanks, trilo.



" album cover reminds me of imperative imperceptible impulse "

Yeah, they both have similar aesthetics, no doubt.



Azog
September 12th 2021


576 Comments


I'm also hearing, dare I say it, some deathcore influence. Disso death not so much.

May give this another spin or two.

Digging: Lvcifyre - The Broken Seal

DavidYowi
September 12th 2021


1450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah theres a lot of mathcore at play here, honestly moreso than death metal

sonictheplumber
September 13th 2021


13476 Comments


guy at work told me i had to hear this, ill check it soon

Pon
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2021


5061 Comments


Negative Life was good if unfocused, looking forward to hearing this.

BigPleb
September 13th 2021


63672 Comments


Does this dweedle?

Digging: Alora Crucible - Thymiamatascension

trilo
September 13th 2021


4025 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nah not really



got some solid Steeve Hurdle impressions tho

BigPleb
September 13th 2021


63672 Comments


I'm sold.

Pon
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2021


5061 Comments


Absolute dweedle overproduced shite

BigPleb
September 13th 2021


63672 Comments


Never forget.

Pon
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2021


5061 Comments


I could never 💖

parksungjoon
September 13th 2021


35441 Comments


worse than holes in socks

Digging: Controlled Bleeding - Distress Signals

Pon
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2021


5061 Comments


This is the graves of the 80s

parksungjoon
September 13th 2021


35441 Comments


i like that song [:

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2021


15110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

More 2021 death



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