It isn't until the odd-time riffs and repeating choruses begin to rip on Deus Deceptor's fourth track that Nonexist finds a stride on this, the band's 2002 debut. Unfortunately, the relative cohesion of "Eaten Alive" isn't often replicated by the Swedish trio. Featuring ex-Arch Enemy vocalist Johan Liiva, Nonexist adopts a familiar death metal stance as guitarist/bassist Johan Reinholdz (formerly of Andromeda) propels the band's ever-shifting riff parade. Together with drummer Matte Modin (Defleshed, Dark Funeral), Reinholdz blasts ambitious metal that is often rushed, and at times out of sync. Liiva makes the best of it, and when he isn't boxed in by so much cacophonous guitar work, the vocalist's go-for-broke style blends well, turning "A Halo Askew" and "Divided We Fall" into solid standouts. With their elegant structures and rocking tone, more tracks like these are needed to put Deus Deceptor in balance. But the frequent instrumental indulgence on this record precludes a recommendation to death/shred fans, much less a general metal audience.
Deus Deceptor Review
by Jason Anderson