EP Review: Humanity’s Last Breath – Structures Collapse
Band: Humanity’s Last Breath (Sweden)
Album: Structures Collapse (2011)
Genre: Deathcore / Death Metal
Where my prejudice about Norwegian Metal makes me expect all Metal from Norway is Black Metal, I’ve got a similar – and equally fucked-up – rule of thumb about Sweden. It’s either Old-school Death Metal type of stuff or Melodeath that they produce there. Absolute rubbish of course and the examples are numerous. Still, it’s a bit of a default thing to expect I guess.
Today we add another entry to our list of examples that counter that coarse generalization: Humanity’s Last Breath. They’re a five-piece from the city of Helsingborg, where I know also Soilwork is from. A typical line-up of two guitars, a bass, some bongos and a voice, these guys produce something undeniably brutal and aggressive, often a shit storm of blasts and chugs, but also often melodic and harmonious. That is what I pulled from the band’s latest release, which was sent out into the world in early 2011 as their second EP since forming in 2009.
The EP’s title is ‘Structures Collapse’. I’m not sure whether that’s a reference to the current state of the world where existing structures are more and more protested or whether it just means they’ve said ”fuck that” to song structures and went overboard with playing whatever felt right. But whatever it is, there is a lot of mind fuckery going on in the five songs on the EP.
In fact, there is so much brutal and rhythmic complexity going on that my mind is drawing parallels with Meshuggah. Not that they really are comparable in sound or feel, but some of the fucked up rhythms that define Meshuggah can be heard on Strutures Collapse as well. But rather than making that polyrhythmic syncopatedness a trademark, Humanity’s Last Breath have decided to put the focus on laying down a truly aggressive brutality, but without going apeshit and turning things into a ridiculous flavor of Brutal Death.
In terms of look and feel, and aggression most of all, Structures Collapse is best characterized as Deathcore. That said, I wouldn’t compare it to the average American Deathcore produce. The phenomenon of breakdown may be present, but never is there anything that even remotely resembles the stupidity that is slower-and-lower-than-snails-fuckin’ slamming. Rather, there is just complex rhythmic chugging. Sometimes, like in the closing song The Aftermath, it’s even a melodic, calm, atmospheric slowdown where riffs have no part to play at all.
Put more directly, the band doesn’t tend to go for the dumb default option that many Deathcore does pick. And it’s precisely that difference that restrains me from explicitly naming this Deathcore. There’s intelligent Death Metal content, a plenty. Or something like that. Perhaps it’s just intelligent Deathcore. After all, and without the intention of stirring up yet another war on this, there is a lot of high quality Deathcore around.
That this is pretty much a fact for Humanity’s Last Breath if you ask me, is shown by this drum video of Buster Odeholm, who’s banging the bongos in the band and a student of Darkane’s Peter Wildoer. Pay particular attention the blast beat at 1:07 that alternates between drums!
To give you a more holistic taste of the band’s release, I’ll serve up The Aftermath. In my opinion the killer track on the EP and a very delicious piece of grooving brutality in which there’s also room for taste-making melodic elements. Make sure you don’t skip the ending of the song, the grand finale of ball-busting blasts!
So yeah, good stuff! Been listening to it for a while now and it’s pulling me in deeper by the minute. I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that if these guys keep going at it like this some more they may actually match the status that Viatrophy have to me. And Viatrophy is high up there I can tell you! Humanity’s Last Breath have seriously impressed me with Structures Collapse.
My Grade: 8.5/10
Buy this when:
- you’re not anal about things being Deathcore or not
- you’re looking for a real BLAST!