Humanity’s Last Breath is satisfying in its thick, mucky pops and punches.
Review by David Feltman
New Swedish death metal import, Humanity’s Last Breath, may bear a moniker that’s a little goofy in its EXTREMEness, but don’t let that be a turn off. This band has something pretty intriguing to offer. HLB dishes out super heavy industrial sludge seasoned with experimental riffs. The sound is undisputedly cultivated from groups like Meshuggah and Max Cavalera era Sepultura. But HLB takes the initiative to adapt the proggy sludge to its own ends, making something at once both primal and refined.
The debut self-titled album doesn’t let the punishingly heavy elements overpower the more intricate melodies underlying them. “Bellua Part 2” features some fascinating and creepy detuned wonkiness that provides a strong groove for the rest of the industrial screechiness to hang its hat on. The staccato “Human Swarm” skips and twitches with mathematical precision, creating a whiplash head banger of a track that sounds like a long hair metal head beating up a raver kid. The band breaks up the potentially monotonous blast beats by sprinkling these stuttering rhythms throughout the album, and Guitarist Kristoffer Nilsson has a talent for transmuting buzzy drones into lingering melancholy. There’s something subtly sad under the overt aggression. When mixed with the throbbing pulses and echoes, these compositions produce something pretty dynamic and expressive for a band of the Cookie Monster variety.
Humanity’s Last Breath is satisfying in its thick, mucky pops and punches. The experiments with shoegaze, industrial and techno conventions create a rich and stodgy stew that’s fresh and familiar. If you have the stomach for extreme sludge metal, HLB will fill your gut and warm your cold metal soul.