Hey there, tech fiends. It's that time of the week again. Before we dive into today's focus, here's the usual weekly reminder that if you're looking for even more sick bands to hear, all prior editions of this series can be perused here.
Today we’re focusing on Human from Italy, a band I had heard before but didn’t love the releases that dropped in years past enough to cover them. There was certainly enough potential and good ideas within the band's prior music for them to take a place on the massive list of bands I follow moving forwards in case they got better. And, several releases in, I think the band has finally reached a new pinnacle that is more noteworthy and exciting.
Their new album, Alizarin Refraction, came out at the end of June, but, I didn’t hear about it until early August somehow. Since their formation in 2015, they’ve kept a steady pace, dropping a demo quickly in 2015, a full-length album in 2016, followed by their 2017 second album, Contemplating Soliloquy. As I touched on briefly above, I saw the appeal as to why my friends enjoyed 2016’s Cerebral Inwardness and 2017’s Contemplating Soliloquy, but, it didn’t stick out enough for me to really get excited about them in a big way.
Alizarin Refraction feels like a much more mature work and takes an interesting leap forwards sound wise that helps them forge an identity beyond merely dwelling in the shadow of their idols. The album is still very much a progressive death metal-inspired tech-death release, drawing from Death from both a guitar and proggy bass guitar framework, paired with a lot of Decrepit Birth and Obscura style brutal-edged yet melodic and proggy tech-death. That in itself is always a fun sort of sound but it’s the sort of sound I’ve heard done for so long thanks to the massive ongoing influence of all those bands on the modern tech-death scene.
And this is where their newfound sonic evolution kicks in that, to me, finally sees Human carving out their own niche. On Alizarin Refraction, a very obvious atmospheric and ethereal The Flesh Prevails-era Fallujah influence seeps into every song on the album. The end result is the band's most captivating and powerful music yet. Not just because this sort of Fallujah influence adds a new dimension to Human’s sound, but because it’s implementation within their brutal and proggy form of tech-death, is utilized to create very dynamic music that ebbs and flows with grace and beauty.
I’ve been spinning Alizarin Refraction a ton the last two months and am still not tired of it. The band may not be reinventing the wheel, and, Fallujah influenced tech-death continues to be more common, however, this release is so strong it’s hard to deny the quality of what’s going on here. In the off chance you haven’t heard this album yet yourself, it’s embedded below and I urge you to give it a shot. I’m genuinely excited to see where the band goes next, their future seems brighter than ever with the big step up on all fronts that this album showcases. You can order Alizarin Refraction through the Human Bandcamp page. Be sure to follow the group over on the Human Facebook Page.