Review: Civortep - The Return



Civortep is a Deathcore project of Stefan Petrovic, musician who hails from Pittsburgh, and The Return is his debut EP release which is an epitome of Deathcore should be. 

After the opening “Intro,” The Return continues with guitars unleashing a dizzying barrage of notes set to a quick drum fill followed by a gut-renching low growl courtesy Petrovic. The structure of the song is progressive in its own right because Petrovic never really repeats anything but rather flows from one idea to the next seamlessly. At around 1:30 he segues into a melodic bridge alien to their contemporaries but this is only the calm before the storm. All hell breaks loose as he launches into a dissonant breakdown declaring, “but the day will come when our eyes will open up  and see the earth for what it is, a part of us, and we of it, one in body, one in mind”. 



The next five tracks aim straight for your throat with a murderous intent. “Introspection” after an almost Progressive Rock opening moment switches to a post-rock vibe with Petrovic delivering growl vocals over the cannonade of crushing riffs and arpeggios. The guitar tension in instrumental “Chronological Decay” builds and builds as the riffs gallop until another melodic piece reveals itself through guitar solos. The song follows along the same lines as it’s predecessors as it chooses flow over repetition. 

The closing three songs feature guest appearances of singers Jeremy McNutt (Mutalist) and Dave Simonich (Improvidence), and guitarist Nick Landon. The “heavy, choppy chromatic riffs wrapped around an indecipherable monster voice” of “Seed of Kether” fuel the second part of the EP, with a sneaky melodic lead, time-signature change, or smart production trick that elevates  this recording above the usual death/metalcore sonic assault. 

The Return is chock-full of the best of heaviness — an endless array of savory death metal riffing alongside a torrent of breakdowns with the occasional prog exercise, with absolutely no clean singing to bog down the album with tone-deaf melodrama. Available on Bandcamp.

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