Sparky
Humanimation


4.0
excellent

Review

by greg84 EMERITUS
October 10th, 2014 | 24 replies


Release Date: 10/07/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sparky infuse progressive metal with wit, innovation and manic energy on their rollicking new album.

Plenty of “progressive” metal albums released these days don't show enough progress to justify their categorization, relying too much on established formulas and rehashed ideas to make any sort of evolution possible. In such circumstances it's even more pleasant to come across a record as peculiar as Sparky's #Humanimantion. The Canadian quartet double down on eccentric genre fusions by juxtaposing heavy modern metal arrangements with Frank Zappa-echoing eclecticism.

The end product is an album that's both instrumentally intricate and unpredictable. There are no two songs that sound the same here with the group adroitly alternating between the polirhythmic chugging of Meshuggah and the insanely vibrant zaniness of Thought Industry. Yet the fact that most tracks revolve around great hooks and memorable motifs makes this quirky music all the more penetrable. Take 'Falcon' which contrasts supremely catchy funky passages with bombastic outbursts or 'Lockjaw' that revolves around hugely playful verses splendidly building up to a booming chorus.

Sparky also effectively embed their brand of progressive metal with a sense of fun which is reflected not only in humorous lyrics, but also in the quartet's stylistic excursions. The album's centerpiece 'Etheric Silver Lining' blends sinuous, ultra-fast metal with jazz and cabaret music to scintillating effect. Singer Nealz swiftly adjusts his vocals to the mood of every segment, which makes for an impressively multifaceted performance. Similarly, 'Deaf Whales' makes good use of his wide vocal range as it features tribal chants, tight clean singing and feral screams on top of monumental riffing and slick oriental rhythms that resemble Shaolin Death Squad.

The music gets even more diverse when Sparky suddenly decide to tackle minimalist electronica on the impeccably paced 'Time,' and flirt with the repetitiveness of sludge metal on the distinctly Melvins-sounding 'No Birthday.' Even though a wide array of track modes often makes the album feel all over the place, its disjointedness is a by-product of taking risks. #Humanimantion never ceases to be daring, infusing progressive metal with wit, innovation and manic energy. It's a conundrum of an album for sure, but the quartet's unwillingness to get normal is definitely something to behold.




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user ratings (20)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Emeritus
October 10th 2014


7608 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Here's the stream:



http://sparkyband.bandcamp.com/album/humanimation

Digging: Black Midi - Schlagenheim

makrand
October 10th 2014


52 Comments


Great review greg.

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
October 10th 2014


16175 Comments


this sound really good great find greg

Digging: Russian Girlfriends - In The Parlance of Our Times

YetAnotherBrick
October 10th 2014


6691 Comments


album sounds awesome. and great review, although i would've liked to see an example of those 'humorous lyrics' haha

Yazz_Flute
October 10th 2014


18939 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You had me with the Mods Carve the Pig recommendation

greg84
Emeritus
October 10th 2014


7608 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"i would've liked to see an example of those 'humorous lyrics' haha"



a 1950’s vegas ex-show girl, she wants my body, it's hard to say no girl

don’t get me wrong, she’s a sexy old lady, she whispered to me let's make a baby

na na na na na



taken from Etheral Silver Lining lol



Drpibb
October 11th 2014


159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awesome album cover

thejared
October 11th 2014


229 Comments


WHAT! These guys are from my city, and I have never been exposed to there music until now.

Fun stuff.

SmokinSmithy
October 11th 2014


7 Comments


Thanks for the great review. This album sounds like it's right up my alley.
Definitely gonna check it out.


SylentEcho
October 11th 2014


1606 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this album! Nice review.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 11th 2014


4807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Crazy fun stuff! I like it.

Digging: Elder (USA-MA) - The Gold & Silver Sessions

KjSwantko
October 11th 2014


11127 Comments


Really nice review, Greg. This one I'll have to check out as it sounds like it'll be right up my alley.

Mad.
October 11th 2014


4764 Comments


Great work Greg, this looks like it could be awesome

Album cover is indeed awesome

Veldin
October 11th 2014


3863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very fun, very enjoyable. Excellent and convincing review.

Lord(e)Po)))ts
October 11th 2014


43287 Comments


listened to 21 seconds of the first song it was terrible

Lord(e)Po)))ts
October 11th 2014


43287 Comments


dos vocals yikes

stonerrrock
October 12th 2014


3 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Such an amazing, fun and catchy album. Best I've heard this year.

Archelirion
October 12th 2014


5716 Comments


Really not sure how I feel about this. Love some tracks (Etheric Silver Lining is an absolutely amazing track, whilst Lockjaw and Deaf Whales are awesome as well), but most of the first half just annoys me (after Neat Mission, I nearly didn't listen to the rest of it). Best way I can describe this is: if Alien Ant Farm, SikTh and Tool had a baby, it would sound something like this.

Review was fantastic, was the main reason I kept listening past the first few to be honest.

Yazz_Flute
October 12th 2014


18939 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Neat Mission is kinda hilarious and makes me think of Rick and Morty

savaah
October 12th 2014


515 Comments


you actually know the way to make staff reviews, thanks for the rec man!



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