HUMANGLED (Italy) “Fractal” DIGI CD review by symbyonte

HUMANGLED (Italy) Fractal DIGI CD review

by symbyonte

By symbyonte

Fractal marks the first full-length release from the Italian death metal act Humangled. While this album is far from anything all too original or jaw dropping, the music found on this release is instead just a great example of traditional death metal that is simple in nature, but executed quite well. Much of Fractal is designed to come off as rather simple. The guitars and drums presented here are just your typical hard hitting death metal-style music that doesn’t really try to bring in some kind of combination from other genres to try to make some kind of impact. Instead, what you get is a solid performance that incorporates all of what makes death metal so great. Each song on here is essentially the same as far as the impact of the material goes. The guitars show some diversity throughout, but mostly try to stick to the sound that the song starts with and maintaining a standard chugging pace, changing up where applicable, such as during the chorus, solo, and specific bridges, helping to keep the album from getting too repetitive. However, the real drive of the album’s musical direction seems to lie in the drumming, which is just constantly coming at you, and with exception to some slower moments that hit in the music, such as the case of “From Empty Pockets” near the middle of the song where it just slows down to a crawl for a few moments. This song is also the first one that you can really pinpoint the bass guitars easily, adding an additional layer to the music due to how important a role it has in progressing the music at certain moments, as well as actually having the guts to incorporate some cowbell. The additional cowbell, however, doesn’t really do much outside of just being there near the end of the song. Of course, the vocal performance on the album is pretty standard as well. The style is a typical mix up of a higher pitched guttural that can grow into a more raspier style when additional force is presented in the music, or just near a specific moment of the song, most notably the end.

There’s nothing really all that necessary to be pointed out with this album, as each track does have its own unique sound, but manages to flow nicely between one another. “Fruits of Abdomen” puts on an intense performance for the listener and even incorporates two effects thrown into the background just for kicks, though it doesn’t really do much for the song outside of sounding cool, which is the case with the cowbell on “Infinitesimal” as already stated. “Liquidfire”, however, is a pretty strong song that shines through due to the composition of the song and its similarities to some bands such as Obituary thanks to its more bouncy (but far from upbeat) chorus that will have your head banging throughout, as well as including some clean spoken words near the end of the song that are only harmonized by the fact that they are wailing in the background, which does aid the vocalist a bit, but ultimately is just something else the feels tacked on, though it doesn’t hurt having them put there in the end. Out of these songs, as well as the rest of the album, “Fruits of Abdomen” really comes off as the fastest track as practically everything else on Fractal comes at the listener at a steady mid-pace with various moments of speed thrown in throughout certain tracks.

While the drums can often really push a song forward here, there are some tracks that really have some catchy guitars that are clearly meant to be the reason the song continues on the path it does. “Under the Root” is the perfect example of this thanks to the guitars being played here are clearly a little different compared to some of the tracks, actually having a slightly melodic Heavy Metal feel to the leads throughout it, but especially during the chorus of the song. The problem with this song, however, is that the guitars are a little louder then they probably should be and can sometimes feel like they are a bit too much, and the guitar solo is actually quite weak and sounds like the notes being played were done drunk, but not sloppy to the point where they come in too late and are noticeable. It’s mostly due to the chords being played and how they quite contradict with the music being played behind it. “Reversed Humans” is really the only song on this release that actually is not all that great. The song moves at a much slower pace then most, and incorporates a bit of mid-career Carcass into the mix, but seems to not quite have as much structure as winds up being a bit off the wall throughout and has inspirations from other bands thrown in with their sound that just collides with the listener in many ways. The track is still worth a listen, but after a few spins through, the song just won’t last, and ultimately just sounds out of place with the rest of the release.

Without incorporating any gimmicks, Humangled put together a fantastic straight forward death metal album that will appeal to all ages and degrees of the metal spectrum. Fractal winds up being a very impressive “every day” death metal album that doesn’t manage to become monotonous or repetitive in any way, with only the closing song really causing a loss among listeners due to it’s conflicting sound with the rest of the album, and how much is going on musically that will leave listeners trying to figure out exactly what is going on. Tag this issue atop some effects and ideas that simply did not need to be used, such as wailing and background effects and a guitar solo that feels like it was performed either while drunk, or by an amateur, and you’re still looking at a highly impressive album that is worth checking out the next time you have a chance and shows that Humangled is a band to keep your eye on.

Review link: www.metal-archives.com/reviews/Humangled/Fractal/270391/symbyonte

Humangled links:

Myspace: www.myspace.com/humangled

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Humangled/50430188818

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/humangled

Last fm: www.last.fm/music/Humangled

Abyss Records links:

Online Label & Online Music Store: www.officialabyssrecords.com

Myspace: www.myspace.com/abyssrecordsofficial

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Abyss-Records/164573050232055

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/label/abyssrecords

Last fm: www.last.fm/label/AbyssRecords

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/MinionfortheAbyss

Other links:

To purchase HUMANGLED “Fractal” DIGI CD, “Odd Ethics” CD EP and other HUMANGLED merchandise go to: www.officialabyssrecords.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=humangled

To preview a song from “Odd Ethics” go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyjC_-_qF5Q

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