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Review

Humanity’s Last Breath – Abyssal Review

Band: Humanity’s Last Breath
Album: Abyssal
Label: Unique Leader Records
Genre: Death Metal
Country: Sweden
Release Date: August 2nd, 2019

The time for the new long-awaited Humanity’s Last Breath record is finally here after nearly 6 years since their self-titled record. HLB have created something that is deeply unsettling with Abyssal. This record is just filled to the brim with solid technical death metal tracks. It is consistently solid and monstrously heavy through and through. There is not a single moment in which you will feel safe and comfortable while listening to this record. Abyssal is the soundtrack to our eternal suffering in hell, and I am all about it.

From the very first minute that this record starts, you are bound to become fully immersed in this chaotic and mysterious nightmare. The opening track, Bursting Bowel of Tellus, does an excellent job at setting the tone for the rest of the record with its slow yet brutal and unrelenting nature. The riffs found in this track is riddled with small technicalities and nuances that include dissonant sounding harmonics, pick scrapes, and so on. To be honest, that is found all over the record. Bone Dust carries the momentum from the opening track and doesn’t fail to send chills up your spine during the outro after the full band comes in following the brief silence accompanied by the sinister tremolo picking. Fragda starts off with a bouncy and filthy little riff that makes you realize how tight and well produced this record is. For this to sound as dark and mysterious as it does, some serious work needs to be done mix-wise in order to create that type of soundscape; this record has exactly that. This band knows exactly how to make the most out of the negative space, as that is what really makes this album as unsettling as it is. It is almost as if the band members (which several members of this band are also members of Vildhjarta) have many years and albums of experience crafting this sort of unsettling and dastardly heavy sound and it really shows.

Although all the tracks are quite solid, you’ll notice that many of the main, non-instrumental tracks get to be quite same-y. It does take quite a bit of energy and determination to listen all the way through with that being said. There are a few instrumental tracks (För Sorg, Being, and Dödgud) that bring a very welcomed breath of fresh air and the pace on those tracks are quite different from the rest of the album. Although it is one of the instrumental interludes, Being is one of the strongest tracks on Abyssal. Once the muffled and distorted voice sample ends, the rest of the band comes in and just pummels you into oblivion with that blatantly obvious Vildhjarta tribute. I was surrounded by these monstrous, jagged riffs and blast beats while the overall gloomy ambience made me feel like someone somewhere was watching me as hell broke loose. The closing track Dödgud took the horrifying nature found on Being to another catastrophic level with the Gregorian style chants in the background as the world is crumbling apart around you. It was the short and completely unpredictable tracks like these that were the ones that took my breath away.

The rest of the tracks on Abyssal are as solid as they are heavy. The wide range of vocals from the deep and devilish growls to the high screams and scattered cleans. There are many moments in which the layered vocals and the vocals provided from an additional band member contributed greatly to the depressing and vile atmosphere of the music. There are many different elements and styles which include progressive metalcore, downtempo, blackened death, deathcore and so on, that are blended to create this hellish concoction of sounds.

Abyssal is a dense record to say the least. There is a lot going on at times and that makes it difficult to marvel at all the tiny details at first. Like many albums in this horrifying realm of music, it will take several listens to being to fully notice and appreciate everything that is going on, as once it all finally clicks, only then will you get the most enjoyment out of this. Humanity’s Last Breath have created something that gets heavier and heavier with each listen. This is the definition of pure evil. I just imagine some unsuspecting, poor old lady hearing me blasting this in my car and I will turn to her and my eyes will roll into the back of my head and hundreds of flies will just swarm out of my open mouth. This is Abyssal.

Rating:  8/10

Tracklist:

Tracklist:

  1. Bursting Bowel of Tellus
  2. Bone Dust
  3. Fragda
  4. Abyssal Mouth
  5. Pulsating Black
  6. För Sorg
  7. Sterile
  8. Being
  9. Vånda
  10. Rampant
  11. Dödgud

Total Playing Time: 46:17

Click here to visit Humanity’s Last Breath’s Bandcamp

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