Thursday, May 28, 2015
Humangled "Prodromes of a Flatline"
The horror, the brutal, and the unforgiving death metal nature! That is one way to simply describe Italy's Humangled. Their second full-length album, “Prodromes of a Flatline,” is a solid extreme cut of music.
When the album begins, you listen! This is some brutal technical death metal that has an old school death metal vibe. I hear some Carcass and Suffocation influence throughout the album. For a sound that I have probably heard over a millions times now(okay, not a million but a lot of damn times!), this album had an energy that got the adrenaline pumping and the head banging. Humangled sounds tight which is a very important quality for a band to have. The musicianship is technical and displays strong extreme metal dynamics.
When I first started listening to the album, I actually thought that the band was not a death metal band, but a symphonic power metal group such as Rhapsody! There was this wash of keyboards that had a cinematic feel. However, a few seconds later the intense technical death metal rhythm started to instantly take form and the singer scared away any thoughts of this band being power metal. The first track, “Liberté, Egalité, Brutality,” is a brutal cut of death metal. As the band pounds away on a monster riff the music moves in this brutal yet catchy direction.
There are moments on this album where I felt the band overwhelmed the songs with too many notes. During some of the guitar solos I felt dizzy with all the notes being played in such a rapid fire manner. I preferred the slower heavy riff sections like on the song, “Foretasted in Flesh.” The machine guitar riff mixed with the slow crushing break down part was the perfect contrast to come up with and gave the song that extra kick of aggression.
Songs like “Intimacy Curse,” and “Unstable Fear,” are vicious grooving death metal tracks that break the sound barrier. The singer in this band has a vocal style that reminds me of how Jeff Walker from Carcass sounds. Humangled also seems to go for that surgical death metal style with songs referring to medical terms, along with talking about human body parts. Lyrical content that a normal death metal fan like myself will find enjoyable and fun to recite when at the dinner table.
Towards the end of the album the band maintains their heavy old school technical death metal style and continued to offer challenging pieces of extreme music. One exception to my last statement is their cover of Therion’s, “To Mega Therion.” This song is very over the top orchestral meets death metal. The song features these haunting choir singers that add a really unique element to the song. Overall, I thought the track was a bit gimmicky and it did not fit well with the album.
For the most part, Humangled presented a blistering technical death metal release. The music was not just another generic attempt at being a bad ass death metal band. A solid sounding recording for all fans of extreme death metal that has mostly strong moments, but a few questionable parts. Choir singers in death metal might be appealing to some fans...However, I am not one of those fans.
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