Prehumanity 2

A crawling intensive examination of the senses and psyche is the best way to describe Death Wave, the second album from industrial/electronic/rock band PREHUMANITY, or as it is also tagged death wave. It is a striking and deeply pleasing encounter which is as impressive as it is abrasively uncomfortable, and thoroughly compelling.

The band is the project of Alexander K. Harris, an artist who before PREHUMANITY fronted numerous punk and metal bands, flavours which also add their harsh essences to the album. Starting up the project in 2008, Seattle based Alexander primarily took influences from electronic and death rock bands and released three EPs though they were only available at live shows and online which grabbed the attention of a great many. Continually assessing and writing material whilst performing live with additional musicians, the debut album Not So Becoming was released in 2011 to strong responses. Moving to LA the following year, Alexander wrote and recorded 70% of the follow up as well as recruiting percussionist Seage to the mix for live shows in the city. Completed after additional refining and re-recording of some vocals once he had moved again, this time to Raleigh in N Carolina, Death Wave had its release at the tail of the year. The album has a horror tainted heart and sound which is soaked in the new wave and gothic spices of the eighties and a modern harsh electro/industrial imagination. It is a feisty and bruising confrontation with constant rewards from its intensive violations.

Better Broken opens up the encounter with pulsating beats and a prowling intimidating synth pressuring the ear. Soon into its Prehumanitydefined step the track then brings in a melodic hook which immediately reminds of eighties band Visage and as the track spreads its sonic touch and melodic caresses it takes one back to those vibrant times three decades ago with one foot still firmly entrenched in the powerful wells of today’s sinewy sounds. The track is best described as Specimen and Alien Sex Fiend, a band the album often harkens to, caught in an uncompromising position with Landscape whilst Cease2xist is looking on adding its own intrusive thoughts. A compelling and infectious assault the track is an excellent start to the release soon matched by its successor.

As soon as the stomping strokes of Pills breaks the brief silence between tracks the senses are under an electronic barracking from within a thick cloud of energy. As with the opener the vocals of Alexander are a caustic lashing upon the ear. Expressive and impassioned they are an uncompromising grazing which opens the gateway to darker shadows to join those already lit by the again contagious sounds. Taking a more Skinny Puppy/Ministry gait with a hungry blackened intent the song alongside its predecessor makes one greedy for more and more from the release which of course the album happily and spitefully provides.

The doom encrusted Calling with its brew of Sex Gang Children and Nine Inch Nails like erosive melodic squalls and the thick predatory consumption provided by the metallic Bad Things ignite further intrigue and passion for their inventive contention sparking carriages but it is the track which splits them which almost all alone ensures PREHUMANITY and the album has a permanent stature in our personal playlist. Blood Soaked Suits disorientates with dazzling sonic expulsions before unleashing a rampage of insatiable intensity and invigorating energy, though it erodes as equally as it sparks the body and emotions into unreserved life. With towering rhythms, further caustic vocals, and a wonderful unsettling discord wash to the melodic imagination to the track, the song is a memorable and irresistible bruising with only its briefness a niggle for the hunger it incites.

The excellent Single File with its cavernous depths and ravenous breath not to mention viral sonic teasing is a weave of thunderous energies and heavyweight textures which leaves one exhausted and glowing under its blistering heat. It is only the appetizer though as the equally oppressive and intense Vote With Your Dollars brings further aggressive rage to the canvas of the album. The closing track though offers a warmer melodic coaxing to its rampant storm of stomping dynamics and destructive layers. Like early Young Gods if it also contained Marilyn Mansion, Gary Numan, and John Foxx is a way of describing the expansive sound of the track and it makes for a riotous and challenging end to an outstanding release.

PREHUMANITY wears its influences openly yet turns them into something new and refreshing. Death Wave is an album which all from electronic through industrial to metal fans will find plenty of pleasure from, it is just immense.

RingMaster 11/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sybreed – God Is An Automaton

Having more than a soft spot for Swiss metallers Sybreed there was more than a slight hunger to the anticipation going into their new album God Is An Automaton. Always a band to ignite the imagination with their unwavering yet diverse ‘death wave’ metal sound, they have across their previous trio of albums, left plenty of inspired satisfaction behind. Fourth album God Is An Automaton sees the band drawing on all their former glories and essential essences to create something wholly impressive and sparsely imaginative. It is the band at their most potent invention and sound to date and a leading triumph of the year.

Since forming in 2003, the band has struck up mighty allegiances with hearts through their live shows and releases starting with their 2004 debut Slave Design, the album lighting up the underground scene and media alike. Second album Antares three years later only raised their potential and stature with its darker tones and intent whilst The Pulse of Awakening in 2009 elevated the band to the top plateaus of deserved recognition and acclaim. God Is An Automaton is the next step in their evolution, immense and provoking it is a masterful and magnificent construction of passion, sound, and intensity. Linking their cyber metal sound with even heavier shadows and destructive tones, the release finds the band, to give some impression of the creativity at play, like the unique genius offspring from a union of Fear Factory, Static X, and Periphery. Expectations were very high for the album and with immense ease those thoughts were fed and exceeded.

Released through Listenable Records, the album immediately has full attention as disruptive slabs of riffs and beats shake up the initial bristling ambience of opener Posthuman Manifesto. Stirring its muscles into life the track soon settles into a prowling beast, hunger in its eyes as the riffs and keys from Thomas “Drop” Betrisey seize the senses with their twisted vice like grip. The song is in attack mode throughout whether from its forceful driven heart or the resourceful intrusive caresses and whispers offered elsewhere, its melodic electronic manipulations dancing over the numbed senses brought by the bruising precision rhythms of Kevin Choiral. The vocals of Benjamin Nominet as expected are glorious, clean or in his bestial growling, and it is probably fair to say this album is his finest hour to date. He leads the passion of the release and songs wonderfully whilst finding an organic companionship to the impactful sounds.

The outstanding start is only reinforced by the following towers of excellence in No Wisdom Brings Solace and The Line Of Least Resistance, the first a diverse rampage which resonates through bone and the second the conjuror of twisted grooves and sizzling crystalline melodics. It is a song which fuses corrosive elements with startling sunspots of melodies and harmonies while all the time bassist Ales Campanelli is lurking and delivering bass lines which crawl into the psyche. The production across the album is arguably not the kindest to him, his great work slightly mugged by the intensity brewed but it is always impressively there bringing depth and shadows.

Red Nova Ignition, Downfall Inc., and Challenger alongside Into The Blackest Light, are further major highlights from an album colossal in creativity and consistency. The first trawls and churns up emotions and senses with rapier beats and sawing thrusts of riffs to leave one breathless, staggering under its intense assault and intrusive malevolence. Downfall Inc. is similar though it attaches its claws through a more even and measured attack. Its early presence slowly swamps with mesmeric atmospheres and melodies stalked by sturdy and intimidating energy from guitar and rhythm section. It evolves into a deep drilling exploration of the synapses whilst soothing the wounds with warm and expressive keys and vocals.

The other two songs just spark further furnaces of pleasure. Challenger is a burning unrelenting gnawing of the senses, which even the slight Marilyn Mansion infection only elevates further. The track has every part of the body and psyche itching and riled up with The Blackest Light coming in a little after, sending everything into overload. The song has everything, explosive light and malicious dark, malice coated venom and lingering hope, and finely crafted violence and blood surging inflammatory passion. It is impossible to choose a favourite track from God Is An Automaton, but this song is always to the fore of thoughts.

Sybreed has as quietly assumed unleashed one of the best albums this year, but surpassed everything imagined. God Is An Automaton is a classic, enough said!

RingMaster 09/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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