Review Summary: Giving dubstep a whole new and futuristic lookMetahuman
is a strange, but interesting beast. This San Fransico dubstep artist Eprom has been trying to further change the sound of electronic music as we know it. When we think of dubstep that almost everyone is familiar with (mainstream dubstep, but not necessarily brostep), we think of rumbling growling basslines with an extreme low end sound, slow brooding, but heavy rhythms. This album seems to still keep the typical dubstep sound while adding even more to the music by even adding in big hints of psychedelic, glitch, grime, hip hop and even some UK garage.
The variation on this album is astounding with almost every song adding something brand new to the table. The weird psychedelic moments can be shown on the song Prototype
with a spastic synth spurting out fast arpeggiated lines whereas the grime/hip hop moments can be found on songs like Can Control
and Floating Palace
. Some songs have that classic grimey sound such as Transparency
and others have a very glitch and psychedelic sound such as the first two tracks on the album. While moments on the album can be compared to 2562, Clubroot and other dubstep artists, other moments can be compared to even hip hop/ glitch artists like Prefuse 73. Some songs even do a bit of a side-chaining (which is the sound of a synthesizer fading in and out of volume when a drum pattern hits) such as the song Sun Death. There's even a few jazzy moments as well sounding a lot like Flying Lotus at times.
The diversity on this album is what keeps it a continuous enjoyable listen throughout and also showcases a lot of talent that the artist can go through these different genres of electronic music without making it sound unoriginal or and when a song finishes, it makes you hope that the next song will have a different sound. It was such a pleasure to have the song Variations
end with flamenco guitar while adding in a dubstep approach along with it. The album has an overall very pretty and eloquent sound with the heavy rumble of bass blasting in your ears in almost every song, whether it’d be from the bass drum or synth. The production is very well put together with just enough compression on the beats and reverb on the synthesizers to give it an airy and echoed feel. The bass drum is booming and hypnotic and will leave you in a trance as the rest of the album unfolds on you. Little reverberated sound effects and blips and whips in each of the songs show that the album has a lot of atmosphere and it’s a really good way to show that the album and person who made it is aware of the surroundings and environment the album wants to be in. The sound on this album can be defined as dubstep enough to be considered a dubstep album, but it when it shows it’s other genres, it shows it tenfold the amount of the dubstep side.
That’s not to say that the album doesn’t have its flaws and don’t worry there aren’t a lot, but some that maybe a bother to some people. While there is a lot of variety on the album, there is also a lot
going on in the songs with a lot of different sounds and synthesizers and while it doesn’t bother me too much, songs like Love Number, Floating Palace (especially the intro) and Metahuman get kind of overwhelming and annoying in parts with all of the synths that are coming at you in waves. The song Prototype is a very weak song and also incredibly annoying with its massive synth wave just blaring at the start. The song also switches between being glitch, post-dubstep and hip hop after the massive synth wave and while this shouldn’t bother me, it does because after that there isn’t enough time to fully establish a switch with the different genre. To me, this song seems like it was rushed just to fill in a spot for 13 songs. Another thing that this album is lacking is any emotion other than the feeling to dance or head bop and be pumped and, like I said before, it isn’t a very big problem.
Other than those minor flaws, the album is great. It is enjoyable enough to the very end and it is certainly an album that you can replay over and over again. As I’ve already said, the album is very diverse and abstract portraying multiple genres while still keeping its dubstep edge. Metahuman is one album you don’t want to spend the summer without.