Humanity's Last Breath
Välde


3.5
great

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (359 Reviews)
February 23rd, 2021 | 49 replies


Release Date: 02/12/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Breathe in, breathe out.

I’ll admit it, I was one of those not convinced by Humanity’s Last Breath’s 2019 piece (and completely unfamiliar with anything released by the band before it), but Abyssal did showcase a few glimmering moments. Namely, the album brought together the band’s nonchalant tendency to bring technical tropes to deathcore stereotypes providing what could later be considered as a ‘growing’ record. Moving forward, Välde has capitalized on all those little features found in their previous release; increasing levels of atmosphere, technicality and a production to match the band’s expansive reaches. Välde is a staple for the heavy mainstream in 2021 and a fitting title that loosely translates to reign, power or empire.

Where Abyssal told a tale of two halves (meaning the album lost most of its steam as it progressed past the belly), Välde is comparatively cohesive and the band’s energy stays consistent from the opener, “Dödsdans” to the closer less than an hour later, “Vittring”. To summarize why Välde is so successful in such a guitar orientated genre, we need to look at the album’s atmosphere. Trilling chords float absently around the thick, ringing chords of opener, “Dödsdans”, snaking their way through bludgeoning riffs towards “Glutton”. The percussive blasting cuts through the near-Meshuggah soundscape, avoiding most of the time changes and polyrhythms that would come with such a comparison. Still, there’s a sense of density that roars through the album’s opening sections. Deep death growls punch through riffs and mix, occasionally teetering on the edge of mind-numbing deathcore plainness, but there’s enough tempo changes and atmospheric swings to maintain an interest. In moving from the standard to double time (as well as those completely necessary) half-timed grooves the atmosphere quietly takes over - an entity just lurking in the shadows, unseen but felt.

“Descent” in itself, is a curveball. Yes, all the usual tropes of a heavy deathcore record dominate its beginning - but it’s the sheer atmospheric drive that transforms an apocalyptic bridge into a breakdown-led verse section. There’s no minimal amount of groove here, but for the band’s use of atmosphere the riffs actually come second, an integral part of a soundscape rather than the dominating factor. In this way Välde is unmistakably modern. “Dehumanize” however takes a slightly more traditional approach to the genre’s wider stereotypes, and as such, is the new album’s least interesting track. That’s probably judgmental, but Humanity’s Last Breath do better exploring the more modern side of the genre than they do sticking to an a-typical formula. “Dehumanize”, like “Hadean” simply goes through the motions, carrying the listener to the likes of “Tide” where the group’s standards return to the modern focus, progression intact.

Occasionally, Humanity’s Last Breath uses instrumental pieces as spacers. “Väldet” is one example of an instrumental track done right. Where Abyssal would throw these spacers in willy-nilly, Välde uses this feature sparingly and to great effect. “Väldet” takes the central theme of atmosphere and unbridled heaviness and presents it to the listener...guttural roars need not apply.

Välde unleashes it’s everything on their 2021 record, but there’s still the occasional misstep and genre back-peddling that even the group’s better uses of atmosphere can’t fasten to the band’s larger soundscape. If Välde is the beginnings of an empire, Humanity’s Last Breath is well past the foundations of brick and stone—ceilings are already being put in place. If, like me, you thought Abyssal missed on a few opportunities, Välde is the second chance you’ve been waiting to give.



Recent reviews by this author
The Scalar Process Coagulative MatterMoonspell Hermitage
Abiotic IkigaiThe Amenta Revelator
Stargazer (AUS) Psychic SecretionsEximperitus... Šahrartu
user ratings (106)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


13561 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not gonna lie, surprised The Notrap isn't all over this. Figured he or Linguist would've beat me to the review.

Digging: Stargazer (AUS) - Psychic Secretions

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


15670 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was planning on it, but unfortunately I didn't find enough free time in the week of its release so I moved on. I'm glad you reviewed it. Great jam, Buster Odeholm took the best of Abyssal and dug deeper.

Digging: Evergrey - Escape of the Phoenix

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


13561 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't mind working back a couple weeks especially when the stuff I want isn't [quite] out yet.

Darkbe
February 23rd 2021


19 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wow

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


7012 Comments


damn boi you just keep on writing heck i need to catch up

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


13561 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't think either of us want that type of race lol.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


13561 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

relevant linkie for listening:



https://humanityslastbreathofficial.bandcamp.com/album/v-lde

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


4691 Comments


Whoever said this is like a bunch of sound checks stitched together was spot on. Can't deny the production on this is very impressive tho.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


13561 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Don't listen to their last album then. How's your day been Jac?

Elynna
February 23rd 2021


760 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

That's some gorgeous Mariusz Lewandowski artwork

Digging: Brian Finnegan - Hunger Of The Skin

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


4691 Comments


A little dull but I'm not expecting much from a Tuesday lol

I remember reading Ramon's review for their 2016 EP and ditto'ing everything he said, so I was kinda surprised by the positive response this has gotten from a number of peeps.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


13561 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's no Ad Nauseam that's for sure.

DDDeftoneDDD
February 23rd 2021


15902 Comments


Cool. Got this on the pipeline to check

Digging: The Amenta - Revelator

bigweinerdon
February 23rd 2021


1257 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sick album

MementoMori
February 23rd 2021


910 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dope review, dope record, although Earthless as a track stands above the rest. That being said, riff during 2:22 onwards on Dehumanize is fantastic though (amazing use of syncopation).

Rowhaus
February 23rd 2021


4081 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Wasn't into this at all unfortunately. Bored me to tears.

Digging: Hideous Divinity - Simulacrum

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


13561 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Damn, some negative press : (

Dedes
February 24th 2021


7503 Comments


This better slap harder than the last Black Tongue album otherwise I want you personally to give me my money that I did not spend back
Good review invisipos

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2021


23709 Comments


Damn Noct, now I will have to review smth to catch up.

Digging: Lost Horizons - In Quiet Moments

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 24th 2021


13561 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

We’ve all been busy little worker bees so far this year. Nothing wrong with being productive.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy