I have spent the last week picking myself up from the floor of my car, my room, my place in the universe and time, my soul, and my mind. Deceptionist has released what I can only find it in myself to call the Chris Sessions record.
I already mentioned I am a homer for death, and I don’t mind triggers. So it is no surprise that a rhythmic, almost artificial sounding death metal band will be welcomed, especially when that band is somehow channeling the best ideas of older, faster Ministry, classic Fear Factory and Origin.
But what amazes even me is that, no matter how many times I let this record restart, it slaughters me. Even the best albums wear thin upon repeated listens, and as a reviewer I have to repeat those listens in a concentrated time period. It is a rare album indeed that thrills after so many repeats. This one does just that.
It joins bands like Wormed in its Sci-Fi themes. Though no lyric sheet was provided for review, said themes are pretty obvious from the sound alone: machines and more machines. The sound is riddled with samples and pieces of dialog, painting the backdrop ethos starkly enough. That is where the Ministry comes in, as Deceptionist use the machine samples as perfectly as Ministry did on The Mind Is A Terrible thing to Taste.
And like that record, Deceptionist imbues a fantastically dark mechanistic sound to the album. But this is tech-death, so they take it one step…well, no: all the steps further. So further, in fact, that I almost question whether a mere human band can actually be playing these riffs. But I mean that in the best possible way; these songs are about losing your humanity in the face of more and more complex technology until you can’t know where the emotion ends and the subroutines begin.
As such, the music being almost impossibly mechanical – lightning fast, titanium strong, molten lead heavy – works exactly as the band intends. And it is a mesmerizing rush to listen to. Over and over I felt my heart race, or my neck ache with an unbanged headbang while driving. And as I said, I would let it cycle over and get that same thrill with every listen.
Moreover, the lead work of guitarists Fabio Bartoletti and Antonio Poletti is the exact right amount of fluid soloing to give every track artful virtuosity. Combined with the roaring human-ness of Andrea Di Traglia, the songs never let you forget that underneath and between all the technology there are souls at work. This while drummer Claudio Testini implements a constant battering workshop of furious beats with a clear, massive sound.
As for standout cuts, the whole record is one. But certainly “When Humans Began To Be Machines”, with its crushing, sample-infused intro and main body becoming a haunting march accompanied by a siren-like lead as the song fades, is a pulse-poundingly memorable piece. “Sunshine” starts with a bit of narration regarding our dying sun, then takes you into a flowing, off kilter maze of desperate sound.
But the real showpiece has to be the penultimate song, “Industrivolutionaction”, which acts as the record’s climax. An insane, galloping, syncopated juggernaut that has few words, no solos, and is over in a hurry. It is such a joyous/terrifying rush, though, after all that the band has put you through up to that point, that the actual final cut almost seems tame by comparison. That the band can build so much tension and aggression then release it this way is proof that we are listening to something special.
Does it sound like I am gushing? I am gushing. Blood and wires and sweat and joy and carbon fibers and fear. Initializing Irreversible Process belongs in your collection. Period. It stands alongside so many great Unique Leader releases this year, and stands gleaming, like the machines it warns us of. Gleaming and covered in frail human blood. Was there ever a better recommendation for a tech-death record? Buy this.