Album Review: Humanity’s Last Breath – “Välde” 9.2/10 (Technical Deathcore)

Written by Carcassbomb

Humanity’s Last BreathVälde
Technical Deathcore from Stockholm, Sweden
Released February 12th, 2021
Via Unique Leader Records
9.2/10

Humanity’s Last Breath made a big impression over here with their heavy as balls sound in 2019’s Abyssal, now they’re back on the radar with some innovations to show off. This album uses a lot of sound design to create a more unique approach to blackened deathcore that utilizes every instrumental technique available and even additional symphonics. You can see on their Bandcamp that they’ve been very busy producing tunes but also producer packs during the time between Abyssal and Välde, clearly very talented audio engineering from guitarist and producer Buster Odeholm (Vildjharta, Born of Osiris, Oceano).

Spotify

On Välde we’re treated to the darkest manifestation of HLB to date with a strong emphasis on looming atmospheres and crunching riffs that will make you feel like you’re stuck in the dryer with your dirty laundry, spinning, thrashing, beating. The sound is very fleshed out, largely due to the effort put into the tones, production and mixing, everything feels whole and impactful. Perhaps TOO produced for some, but I very much enjoy super-modern production styles like you’ll find in cyber grind or slamming brutal death. There’s no stagnant worshipping the old school, which is in vogue right now, you can tell it’s brand new and innovative.

It’s a difficult album to nail down in terms of specific genre or band comparisons because the band don’t restrict themselves with any “approved” standards or emulations. I can definitely understand the comparisons to Meshuggah though. It’s a finely tweaked album with the intent to have every moment sound great and pop, I can only imagine a lot of post-production time was spent to make it just right. It blends well, so even if you don’t typically like something they’ve used, like symphonics, you’ll still enjoy this a lot. It’s not oversaturated with bullshit or stock sounding harmonies, it’s progressive and often dissonant.

Artwork by Mariusz Lewnadowski

The guitar and bass show off a huge variety of technical wizardry. As I said earlier there’s pretty much every technique in the book, going far beyond the standard palm muting and tremolos – we have a heap of harmonics, sweeps, feedback mutes and probably even scrapes. I can’t pick it all out exactly because it’s just SO damn busy. The vocals are primarily deep growls but the occasional cleans contribute to their tracks very nicely to add a flight of fancy, often sounding like gang vocals.

Perhaps most enjoyable of all however, are the drums. Holy crap do they bite back, throw your studio monitors into high gear with all that bass and it’ll blow your hair clean off the scalp. Very controlled rhythm work that will sometimes abandon discipline to unleash absolutely ridiculous blast beats that steal the show. It’s all so damn coordinated and tight, the overall quality of this one is undeniable. Plenty of things to keep you interested, such as the fucking hazard horn and glitch sequence on the title track towards the end of the album.

The pre-order is available now via Unique Leader Records, and if you’re into Lewandowski’s artwork then it’ll be a no brainer purchase for you. As much as their artwork has flooded the industry in recent years, this is a very good piece and monoliths are SO in right now!

9.2/10


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