It may have been unleashed last year but Human Crown is one encounter you really do not want to have missed. The release comes from Brooklyn metallers The Unbroken and offers five rousing tempests that had us grinning from ear to ear.
The quartet brews a ferocious cauldron from a feral fusion of punk, thrash and groove metal and it proves a potently incendiary mix in this their debut EP. Influences to the band include the likes of Metallica, Pantera, and Slipknot and in some ways there is plenty that is familiar to the release yet from first to last breath Human Crown stands as something aggressively individual and fresh in ears and indeed the metal scene.
Co-produced by the band with John Bender (Breaking Benjamin), mixed by Johan Meyer (Gojira) and mastered by Alan Douches (High On Fire, Mastodon), Human Crown erupts upon the senses with Stuck In The Way, an initial spiral of guitar sparking a thicker volution of groove wiring, the pugnaciously swung beats of Tamas Vajda in the middle. That grooving continues to wind around ears as lead Mark Johnson skilfully entangles the lead vocals of fellow guitarist Chester Oszustowicz, the song forcefully jabbing and inciting as it leads to a chorus which is just as galvanic. There is something akin to American Head Charge meets Mudvayne to the encounter but swiftly it stamps down its own compelling character as the EP gets off to a voracious flyer.
Suffering In Silence follows and quickly lays down its own formidable proposal, rhythms tenaciously marching through a weave of riffs, from which Johnson casts another rich melodic web. Hitting its meaty stroll, contagion soaking sound and vocal attack, the track swings with more of the virulent grooves the band is already proving so fertile with as the bass of Jeff Hinz magnetically growls in the midst of it all, ears and attention eagerly immersed in the thick enterprise making up the welcomed trespass.
Though the track did not quite get under the skin as its predecessor it only had us greedy for more which the EP’s outstanding and spiky title track delivered. Its calm melodic opening made for an evocative contrast to the storms before though a volatile heart is soon exposed as Oszustowicz’s belligerent vocals erupt in the background. As things brew a delicious nagging groove breaks, the vocalist’s snarl riding its rapacious incitement while it all leads to a brief but dynamic chorus, the cycle repeating to further enthral.
Just as addictive is next up I Never Forget, its agile entrance soon the seeding for more of The Unbroken’s unapologetically ravenous grooves and barbarous but welcomingly manipulative rhythms. From start to finish the song savages as it seduces; it’s snarled tone and truculent nature proving as irresistible as the quarrelsome sounds making up its untamed character and inescapable persuasion.
Nothing Left To Sell brings the release to a close, it immediately coaxing ears with a melodic caress full of intimation and elegance and again from the equally warm and intrigue hug of vocals which blossoms a charged and irritable eruption breaks driven by thrash nurtured riffs. The song though is a tapestry of contrasts, the reflective and serene uniting with a disturbed and volatile divergence as the band’s imagination and craft shape another fresh aspect in writing and sound.
The Unbroken is a band easy to see making great strides up the metal ladder especially if Human Crown is a sign of things to come and they exploit its very open potential and prowess.
Human Crown is available now @ https://theunbroken.bandcamp.com/releases
Pete RingMaster 07/02/2020
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