Wednesday, July 03, 2013

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Review: Deventter - Empty Set (2013)

Artist: Deventter
Album: Empty Set
Year: 2013
Label: Self released

Review: Diego Camargo

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Thoughts: Deventter is a Brazilian band that I have known since the very beginning. I even met the guys circa 2008. I have the CDs, I share their news and I saw the evolution of the band album by album.
From a Progressive Metal regular band to a musical ensemble that knows how to absorb new influences and use them as a benefit for their music.

Empty Set (2013) is Deventter's third album and the finest too. It’s quite nice to see how the band developed their sound, added new colours to their music without really losing their own sound.

In The 7th Dimension (2007) the band was closed in the Progressive Metal box with too much influence from the big names of the genre. In Lead… On (2009) those influences were still there but now already mixed with a new wave of Prog and Alt Rock.
Finally, in Empty Set (2013) the band pretty much found their sound.

Deventter is formed by Felipe Schäffer (vocals), Danilo Pilla (guitars), Leonardo Milani (bass), Hugo Bertolaccini (keyboards) and Caio Teixeira (drums) and Empty Set (2013) was released on May 14th as a free download.
One more smart move by the band. Releasing physical CDs nowadays is not an extinct process,  not at all! But for bands like Deventter, especially on the Brazilian market, it is kinda silly to believe they’ll sell all those 1.000 copies that usually you’ve got for the 1st press.
As a free download album more and more people will listen to the band’s music and that’s the whole point of this business model.
By the way, download your copy HERE.


‘Old Major’ starts the album and it’s a kick in the face. ‘Popeinstein’ continues the same path. And what impressed me the most, was Leonardo Milani basses. I wasn’t expecting some big and out-of-common tone in his bass, but you’ve got it. And it’s great.

‘Blank Death’ and ‘I-330’ show some Muse influence, bit less proggy, more Alt Rock. ‘Stains’ is a bit weak as for my taste, well written and arranged, but too common. Although Hugo Bertolaccini plays some really clever keyboards on the track.

‘Yellow Paper’ brings heaviness back to the Deventter’s menu. Such clever lyrics about how human beings are pretty much stuck in a big routine that keeps repeating every day. Great guitars by Danilo Pilla throughout the song.
‘In Limbo’ is too modern for me and I really didn’t like it. ‘No…Deal’ has a great start but, once again, the band is covered with the ‘new’ rock sound. Muse style. Really not my cup of tea.

‘3 Bullets Left, 4 Enemies’ brings the Deventter I like back on track. Vocalist Felipe Schäffer does a great job in Empty Set (2013), many layers of vocals and good melody lines.
In ‘Blank Label’ Felipe continues with good lines, including his new best friend, the falsetto. Good ballad.

‘Same River’ brings in the most prog part of the album, aka the 4 last tracks. Great bass line, clever keyboards and catchy vocals. Probably my favorite on the album.
What follows is ‘Progressive Disorder’ and its nice riff. This songs mix the English lyrics with some spoken words in Portuguese. The song deals with the corruption of their homeland. In fact, numerous lyrics of the album deal with that.
‘Wallow In Nostalgia’ is the longest track on Empty Set (2013) with more than 8 minutes and once again, shows the great bass player that Leonardo Milani is. The track has a heavy riff with good moments by Caio Teixeira too.
Closing the album, we have ‘Curtain Will Retreat’. You gotta love the cabaret feeling the track exudes. Once again, Hugo and Leonardo rule. Great track to finish a great album.

Truth to be told, Deventter right now is a bit far from being a complete Progressive Rock band. The band’s going forward, absorbing the new bands and new music and mixing everything into their own unique sound.
Not just that, Empty Set (2013) is amazingly well produced by Adriano Daga and Brendan Duffey. The album was recorded in a great Brazilian studio called Norcal.
Although the album is only available as free download (until now), the download brings a great PDF file with the booklet of the album and great art made by vocalist Felipe Schäffer. I really would like to see a great digipack version of this album.

Knowing Deventter since 2007 I can honestly say: This is the best album the band has offered so far!
They’re a hard-working and talented band that deserves to be listened.

Lead… On!

The band was included in our Podcast #17 and you can listen the track 'Old Major' HERE.

Tracklist: 1. Old Major - 3'48 / 2. Popenstein - 5'38 / 3. Blank Death - 4'24 / 4. I-330 - 4'25 / 5. Stains - 4'56 / 6. Yellow Paper - 4'07 / 7. In Limbo - 4'04 / 8. No...Deal - 4'29 / 9. 3 Bullets Left, 4 Enemies - 5'19 / 10. Blank Label - 4'57 / 11. Same River - 6'25 / 12. Progressive Disorder - 5'26 / 13. Wallow In Nostalgia - 8'39 / 14. Curtains Will Retreat - 6'00

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