I’ll start out this review very clearly: this album is one big catastrophe. One of the most realistic musical recreations of a cataclysm ever done, like a terrific entity possessing and grinding our hopeless planet. And “Humanity’s Last Breath” is the perfect title for both the band and the album. The sound of demise, of an inescapable fate of destruction crushing the masses. That’s right, because as more bands begin using disturbing and dark atmospheres to evoke feelings of terror in an intimate, introspective and personal way, the fears brought to you by the Humanity’s Last Breath debut full-length album are built on a wider scale, revealing something closer to a mass event. That almighty sound and that huge aura of overwhelming power literally elevate this album over most of this year’s releases. This album will not simply destroy you… it will erase you.
Since the first single “Animal” came out in summer 2012, the band has been working with the heavy burden of being continuously and compulsively compared with Vildhjarta. But I’m personally sure that this album will prove that Humanity’s Last Breath have been packing something much more than just a lame Vildhjarta rip-off. We can definitely say they took inspiration from their innovations, but that’s the end of it. Humanity’s Last Breath went above and beyond, building a refined and authentically massive sound, with an evidently independent and personal touch. Regardless of any similarities with their dear friends in Vildhjarta, they undoubtedly created an amazing album. Speaking of Vildhjarta though, look out for the collaboration. That’s right! You can hear Vildhjarta’s vocalists go at it on the third track of this album “Bellua Pt.2”.
And what about this music? The riffage is immorally heavy and awesome. Each song features at least one seriously memorable and recognizable riff. The guitar tone manages to be unmeasurably heavy without resulting to be overproduced or too compressed. And in this production we can definitely find the key to the perfect balance that pushes this album to the edge of musical violence. A good balance between fast songs and more downtempo ones, but the groove is never missing… never. The frequent but intelligent use of chugs empowers it even more, while the slow breakdowns with screaming high guitar notes will make your faces twist.
The dark atmosphere is always surrounding the listener. The continuously high volumes could have turned this into a boring album, but the band succeeded in giving each track it’s own flavour with unique moments and a different approach to the massive sound in each song. The first two songs “Bellua Pt. 1 & 2” are heavyness incarnate. They’re probably the best representative tracks for the sound found on the whole album. On the other hand, “Human Swarm” is the most groovy one. It’s serves as a perfect example of the intelligent use of chugs. It’s followed by that beast of a single called “Animal” which is still one of the heaviest songs of the album. The track appears here in a re-recorded version, that sadly disappointed me and most of the people I’ve spoken about this with. The song is exactly the same and the mix makes it possibly heavier but actually less real then the original one. Still a monster of track. With “Shoals” things get faster. It even brings a litle touch of (melodic) death metal. Ot’s probably the closest track to the bands previous release “Structures Collapse”. Definitely another skull cracker of a song.
With the following bunch of songs we have, in my opinion, the weakest part of the album. Brutality decreases and even the originality of the riffage. I’m talking about “Tellus Aflame” and “Vultus” followed by the atmospheric track “Drone”. I also must say that I honestly can’t understand the usage of “Void” as the first single. It’s a really sick song, but one of the less stunning and slamming of the album. It’s even one of the less original and representative additions to the album, but at least it ends the weaker part of the album.
Moving on, we find two of the heaviest and most satisfying songs in the album: “Anti” and especially “Make Me Blind” in which the band unleashes it’s very best with one of the most impressive endings of the year just before the final “Outro” song. Effectively, it ends humanity in the most epic and dramatic way possible.
Also, I really appreciated the instrumental version of the album being released with the original version… More bands should definitely do this!
Humanity’s Last Breath unquestionably proved to be more than a moshable Vildhjarta, not necessary a better band, but surely a different one with some remarkable attributes. They’re a band with a strong personality and big creative potential, able to deliver an original and explosive album filled with absolute heaviness and absolute THALL!