Humangled: Odd Ethics

By the third track on Odd Ethics by Italian death metalers Humangled, there was only one direction to go after the completion of this review and that was straight to their back catalogue. The four track EP is the first introduction to The RR of the band but did not take long in ensuring it would not be the last. It is a deeply impressive release offering something different and fresh to a genre admittedly bursting with strong and powerful releases right now, though it is fair to say no one has the distinct smell and taste of Humangled.

From Pisa, the band began way back in the nineties with their first demo Anatomic Butchery appearing in 1996. Though it was well received the band broke up soon after, but in December 2006 vocalist Andrew Goreds and guitarist Luke Scurb joined up once more and Humangled was revived. The following year saw the Refoetalize EP and its unexpected storm of brutal death metal with electronic-industrial rhythms unveiled. The release was well received and after the release of the MCD Edge of Beyond in 2008, the band started work on their debut album Fractal, its acclaimed release coming in 2010 after the band signed with Abyss Records the same year. With guitarist Vhell Miscarriage, bassist Frank Nichols, and drummer Fred Valdaster alongside Goreds and Scurb, Humangled return again on Abyss with another impressive slab of their immense and enterprising metal. Produced and mixed like the album by Dan Swano, Odd Ethics is an imaginative and brutal corruptive pleasure.

Opener Needles Of The Blind takes no time in raging and stomping through the ear with juddering riffs and explosive rhythms, immediately demanding and getting full attention. It is a highly charged mix which ignites all the passions instantly, something not many death metal offerings manage to achieve, usually they have to wear the defences down a little first. With drops and surges in pace and energy, the track is an ever shifting onslaught rife with tumultuous riffs, finely crafted additive grooves, and inspiring imagination. Though it is arguably the most straight death metal track on the release the song is an innovative fury of diverse flavours to fire up the heart. Vocally Goreds conjures a mix of heavy guttural attacks and a caustic blackened delivery for a challenging and compulsive abrasion as direct and pleasing as the music.

The following Skinned, To Feel All opens with a hive of waspish riffs wrapped in a groove which burns on contact, its scorching touch upon the ear acidic and hypnotic. Musically the track is an eccentric blend of doom and sludge metal milked through a death driven rock n roll filter. It is a triumph, an insatiable and incessant grind upon the senses as addictive as any forbidden pleasure can be.

Smells Acrid steps up next to claim its chunk of flesh. As with its predecessor the song opens with a persistent and insistent shower of riffs, all drilled home with a hunger which cannot be appeased. Less rampant but just as forceful and eager as the song it replaced, the track creates a maelstrom of energy and intensity which is the nastiest yet and the most contagious.

The release closes with Deny Your Creed , a song whose initial presence suggests a slower more intense breath at the ear. Intense it certainly is but restraint is never on the cards as it fires a spiral of venomous riffs and spiteful grooves through the eagerly awaiting cavities. Though it shifts from gear to gear throughout, the song with breath stealing energy, bombards with thrash powered riffs and blood boiling sonic ferocity. It is a glorious finish to an exceptional release.

It would be amiss not to spotlight the musicianship within the band especially the skill and sheer brutal might of Valdaster. He is an unbridled beat tempest at times with the control and rhythmic leadership of a master, his skilled frame work and driving energy inspiring the rest of the band to ignite their individual craft.

    Odd Ethics is immense, Humangled even greater, nothing else to say except go check them out.

RingMaster 29/08/2012
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