I posted a preview of this some time ago, but yesterday as I arrived home there was a package waiting for me, and its shape gave it away as a record. It was my long awaited copy of ‘Liberty Crawls’, the new 12″ release by Deviated Instinct. The sender’s address on the label revealed it to be from Stian, head of Nakkeskudd Plater, the Oslo, Norway – based label which co-released the record with the band’s own Terminal Filth label. Quite why I chose to get mine sent all the way from Norway as opposed to thirty miles up the road [or ‘ruud’ to be correct] in Norwich I am not sure…but hey! Enough of my yakking!
After tearing off the packaging in a fevered state, the record I held in my hands was clearly a thing of beauty. Not since I bought a well used secondhand 1972 copy of Led Zep II from Dead Wax records in Huddersfield way back in 1991 [not that I am in any way an anorak where music is concerned] have I felt such a substantial slab of vinyl. Thick, heavy, gorgeously packaged [the sleeve is hand made and features artwork by guitarist Mid, who has established something of a name for himself in the record sleeve artwork world] album hinted at the promise of the music within. And the promise was not a false one.
‘Blunt Instrument‘ is an entirely appropriate name for the opening track. Slow, ultra heavy and with those metallic licks that have always characterised the band’s music, it lopes along angrily before Leggo’s barking vocals kick in. He has clearly become a lot more metal influenced over the past few years, his attack suggesting something between Tom G Warrior of Celtic Frost and newer bands such as Wolfbrigade. Thundering into a slightly faster verse structure, the track lurches into a mid paced battering ram which encapsulates its title perfectly.
At once, ‘Architect of Misery‘ blasts off from the starting blocks with a fast paced metallic sound. This really rocks – sounding almost full blown Death Metal in style, it delivers heaviness in spades and leaves the listener battered into submission, but pleased by the experience. Shared vocals between Leggo and Mid add extra interest.
Flip the platter with your by now shaking hands and you get ‘Thorn in Your Flesh‘ – which is my current favourite track. Starting slowly with heavy riffage, it breaks down into a thunderous mid paced stormer which really rocks. Once again, vocal duties are shared; Leggo layering on the growling attack during the verse, Mid delivering the choruses with savagery. This track also, for me, showcases the band’s awesome rhythm section. Snapa creates a massive, thick bassline and Tony is a revelation as drummer. His style is hard hitting, technical and damned groovy.
A wall of harsh, metallic feedback introduces the final of the four tacks, ‘Blandscape Slavebait‘, subsiding into eerie recorded sounds of disembodied voices layered with distant guitaring. The track kicks off with a – dare I say it – melodic introduction, before diving head first into a mid paced, powerful rush with chugging guitar chords overlaying the solid bassline. The mixture of tempos adds interest, and at no point does the band enter the dangerous waters of over indulgence.
This release is a revelation. I followed Deviated Instinct way back in my German army shirted, late 80s hardcore days. They always frustrated me because although their material was hard and raging, with the intrigue of metallic touches making it more exciting, their previous recorded output was disappointing. They were always let down by sound quality and production, and this meant that a lot of people became disenchanted with the band’s records.
‘Liberty Crawls‘ shows the world that this band has matured and developed into what we always hoped they would become; a band with shattering delivery, crisp, technical production [respect to Bri Doom and Brad Boatright], tight, accomplished musicianship and, quite frankly, the impact needed to blow your balls off. Well, that might not be a great selling point thinking about it, but hey! You know what I mean….
Get this now, you’ll also get some bonus download tracks too!