DVSR ‘West Technique’ (Album Review)

I distinctly remember back in 2014 reading an article about this rising sub-genre called nu-djent. Blending (you guessed it) nu metal and djent to create this Frankenstein sound that was about to take over the world. As you can probably guess, it did not take over the world. But the two poster bands for this article were Hacktivist and DVSR (Devastator at the time). 

Since that day I’ve kept tabs on West Sydney group DVSR because, you know, they’re pretty good. 2015s D.V.S.R was a breath of fresh air at that time and while I didn’t love 2017s Therapy EP, it still showed enough for me to hang around. So as the disaster that is 2020 rolls on, let us evaluate the West Technique. Also I’d like to point out that on the bands Facebook bio it says to “Come catch these hands” which I fucking love. Bit of left right goodnight action.

First impressions are everything. Just like how your WWE entrance music is oh so important, so is the opening track to an album. Luckily No Sugar wastes no time injecting their punchy energy straight into your veins. Structurally the track excels with a clear highlight being the machine gun double kicks from Matthew Nekic. Closing things out with an infectious groove No Sugar is a ferocious way to open West Technique.

The good times keep on rollin baby with Bloodlust being a legitimate contender for song of the year. I love how the track takes it time to begin with, giving every riff room to breathe. CJ (Mr) McMahon from Thy Art Is Murder casually pops in to produce a blood curdling verse only to then go line for line with vocalist Matthew Youkhana. It’s like a heavy XXL freshman class. Couple all that with both a Rolling Stones and Body Count reference in the chorus and you have an A-Grade banger on your hands. 

Momentum continues for both Off Tap and TN Tax as we see no signs of slowing down. Off Tap combines dissonant guitars with a sexy as fuck bass tone that gets me feeling a certain type of way. TN Tax is the first sign of any clean vocals offering a welcome slice of variety to the mix. Sporadic double kicks and an illegal breakdown help push this song to the next level.

As we work our way through this album certain things become abundantly clear. First off the flow of West Technique is on another level. Weaving its way through each track without one, dipping in quality and two, sounding repetitive. It also must be said that this album sounds like it would’ve been a fucking blast to write. Instrumentally things are air tight with Matthew Youkhana sounding more focused than ever before on the mic. 

Frankie Palmeri from Emmure provides assistance on the Korn tinged What’s the Proof? A perfect choice for a DVSR feature sounding like a match made in heaven. I also approve of the Ric Flair ‘Woo’ throughout this cut that keeps track styling and profiling along. Black Magic is simply insane. Opening as a hip-hop song it continuously builds throughout leading to a boss battle like climax. If this track isn’t included in the next Mortal Combat, someone will be getting these hands.

The final two cuts on the album feel like an insight into the future of DVSR. Homesick is one of my personal favourites slowing the tempo producing the best chorus on the entire album. The closing 30 seconds are genuinely epic. And then we get to Leave and Die Slowly. I love the decision to close out the album with a straight up hip-hop track. The hook on this cut is just fucked up and the beat blends perfectly with the rest of the record.

How often do you get an album where you can honestly say that there are zero dud tracks? There are cuts that I haven’t even spoken about that are better than some other albums best tracks. This is some Marvel cinematic universe type shit. I will confidently say that when 2020 comes to an end this album will be in the running for album of the year. West Technique is an all killer no filler assault on the senses, and you are doing yourself a disservice by skipping this record.

West Technique isn’t perfect by any means. Similar tropes are used a little too often plus with 13 track 45 minute runtime, it might be a little long for new listeners. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy nearly every second of this album. DVSR prove once again why they are to be taken seriously and why you need to put some respect on the name.

Highly recommend for fans of bangers and mash.

West Technique out August 7


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