Regurgitate

Deviant

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The surprising effort Deviant comes from a revamped version of cult gore-grind act Regurgitate that includes just one member of their original lineup of more than a decade before. Earlier Regurgitate releases struck a chord with fans of disgusting, Earache-schooled grindcore and death metal, but they were hardly groundbreaking. One could argue that Deviant isn't all that groundbreaking either, as the influences of Earache bands such as Napalm Death, Carcass, and Terrorizer are still strongly evident (there's even the cover of a song by another, more obscure Earache band, Unseen Terror), but the presentation is different. For one thing, the group has largely ditched the old scatological, medical textbook-referencing song titles (and lyrics, presumably, though it's hard to tell) in favor of more abstract, sociopolitical-themed titles such as "Systematic Demoralization" and "Depopulation of the Human Race." With this shift comes a new, more aggressive sonic edge, with a more punk-inspired musical attack and vocals that are more of a hardcore-derived scream than the guttural growl of before. The production also has a harder edge, with a grainy, bass-heavy sound similar to the recent Nasum releases (no coincidence, as the album was produced by Nasum's Mieszko Talarczyk under the pseudonym Mierre Mongo). The songs are still brief, concise blasts (i.e., about a minute apiece) with enough meaty, Carcass-inspired death metal riffs to keep old fans happy, but Regurgitate has wisely (and successfully) updated its overall sound in the process. This is not merely another serviceable gore-death-grind metal album; it's one of 2003's best -- right up there with Nasum's Helvete.

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