Deviant Process

On October 1st 2021, French Canadian Death metallers DEVIANT PROCESS released "Nurture", their sophomore effort, […]
By Santiago Puyol
January 10, 2022
Deviant Process - Nurture album cover

On October 1st 2021, French Canadian Death metallers DEVIANT PROCESS released "Nurture", their sophomore effort, follow-up to 2016's debut album "Paroxysm". Drawing from classic influences like later-era DEATH or CYNIC, while adding decidedly modern sensibilities, the band delivers a melodic and technically impressive take on Progressive Death Metal, with jazzy explorations and Alternative Rock-tingled passages.

The album begins with its second longest track, "In Worship, In Blood", going barely over seven minutes and a half. Its dense yet melodic intro, with intricate drum work and a somewhat nostalgic guitar tone, barely warms you up to the piercing sound, blasts through your ears once vocals come in. Jean-Daniel Villeneuve and Stéphane Simard play each other off with their guitar lines, intertwining to make complex pattern after complex pattern. They even get to show off a little bit with some gorgeous tapping. A soft interlude midway through shakes things up, feeling almost RADIOHEAD- or PORCUPINE TREE-like at times. A weird yet fair comparison considering how close to both moments from "Paranoid Android" and "Trains" the main melody gets, before getting swallowed up by another barricade of relentless Death Metal. A gorgeous, acoustic outro with subtle strings flourishes makes for a poignant end.

"Emergence" evokes a sense of mystery and intrigue, riding atop complex yet groovy drum patterns. More PORCUPINE TREE-like moments, as well as a strong CYNIC influence, especially on the bass work. Philippe Cimon lays down some fun, even warm, bass runs and lines, coloring outside the rigidness the rest of the band seems to be operating with. It fits thematically, adding a bit of an unhinged feel to the track's urgency. It also flows perfectly into "Asynchronous", welcoming the listener with a warm, bass-led intro with playful drumming by Michel Bélanger. Some guitar shrieks and wails seem to be a reminder that this is still Death Metal territory, especially paired with the more melodic, sometimes even hopeful-sounding bits. Villeneuve sounds freed from the monotonous vocal style of the first two tracks and delves into a lower sneering and growling, demon-possesed in his tone. Each band member gets a moment to shine on the extended instrumental bits.

Coming next is amazinginly-titled "The Hammer Of Dogma". This track follows the formula the record has had so far, for about half of it. After a somewhat abrupt yet natural-sounding breaking point, it takes a BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME-worthy shift, moving into a bit of a Latin-tingled, soft guitar moment. Like broken Bossa Nova, if that makes sense. It ends up exploding into a wall of sound and noise once again, yet the contrast turns every element more powerful in itself. Allowing that breathing room is a testament to the band's clever songwriting. Things get quite dissonant and proggy by the end.

Lovely acoustic, jazzy and vaguely Flamenco-esque, makes up for the intro to "Syrtis Magna". It makes sense for what seems to be a Lybian-inspired tune. A song of duality, it shifts between those delightful, softer passages and boorish, Death Metal sections. There's even a bit of a Djenty feel to the guitar work on the heavy sections. The second half of the track doubles down on the Djent-feel, getting into somewhat heavier ANIMALS AS LEADERS territory. DEVIANT PROCESS seem to take a few pages from the Math-whatever genres songwriting book too.

The album ends with a trio of songs that seem perfectly positioned to highlight the penultimate and longest track on the album, "The Blessings Of Annihilation Infinite". Sandwiched between "Homo Homini Deus" and a cover of "Cybervoid" from OBLIVEON, "Blessings" feels like the natural ending point of the record. The undeniable climax. "Homo Homini Deus" is a pretty straightforward, brutal Death Metal track, with a few Psychedelic breaks, allowing for some brief respites amidst the chaos, while "Cybervoid" has an alien feel, helped by treated, clean-ish vocals, functioning as a fitting coda to "Blessings", or even the album as a whole.

"The Blessings Of Annihilation Infinite" is the highlight of the record. Another groove-laden track, with a bass-led intro. There are some truly catchy moments here, paired up with noisy, abrasive guitar and vocal textures. Its length allows the band to flex their muscles and cover some brand new territory on "Nurture". Beautiful proggy breaks, melodic dual guitar attacks and jazzy, diverse drumming. There is a lot to take into this track that attempting to describe feels futile. It is, in a sense, a perfert summation of everything the album has to offer. Even more, somehow. All four members are on top of their game here. The song's coda has to be listened. It might not the be the most complex thing on the album but it certainly builds a resolute feeling for the finale.

DEVIANT PROCESS put an emphasis on melodic songwriting in "Nurture", which ends up being the secret weapon of the record, obviously paired with the exquisite musicianship of a quartet that knows their way around their instruments. The album never overstays its welcome and has enough diversity to never get a boring moment. The bass tone is warm at so many times, becoming a main -and dare I say defining- element for the band's identity. Things get even warm and fuzzy on the quieter moments.

There's not much to say on the production end of things, it's nicely done but nothing particularly surprising. The presence of the bass is always welcomed, though, as burying it seems to be a quite too common crime among Metal genres. A strong record that should solidify DEVIANT PROCESS' place among the Prog Death Metal.

8 / 10









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"Nurture" Track-listing:

1. In Worship, In Blood
2. Emergence
3. Asynchronous
4. The Hammer Of Dogma
5. Syrtis Magna
6. Homo Homini Deus
7. The Blessings Of Annihilation Infinite
8. Cybervoid (Obliveon Cover)

Deviant Process Lineup:

Jean-Daniel Villeneuve - Guitars & lead vocal
Stéphane Simard - Guitars & back vocals
Philippe Cimon - Bass
Michel Bélanger - Drums

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