Album Review: Humanity's Last Breath - Abyssal

Artist: Humanity's Last Breath

Album: Abyssal

Genre: Death Metal

Review by Simon Strelien

The clanging steel drum four-count intro of 'Bursting Bowell Of Tellus' heralds the terrifying descent into Humanity's Last Breath titular abyss. There is no return. Abandon all hope ye who enter here. This powerful album concentrates the essence of your demise. Written, recorded, mixed, and produced by guitarist Buster Odeholm, "Abyssal" presents as an uncompromising force in the field of brutal death metal. Whether through design or mistake, Humanity’s Last Breath have created a golem of Frankenstinian proportion. From the afore mentioned first track, this album is punishing in its brutality, switching from fearless technicality to earth-shattering breakdowns of incalculable heaviness. Simplistically sickening slabs of brutality mutate into skittering tech and back again without warning. Ingenious accents pervade the thick storm of this aggressive recording. Fear inducing atmospherics pervade the hellscape, pursuing the listener from track to track without relent. Industrial elements march beside gargantuan riffs, driving them onward as dirge-like, monastic hymns drift ethereal between the monstrous vocals of new vocalist Filip Danielsson. Chilling, hissed vocals give birth to guttural low bellows that tail off into the void like the howling of the damned. Stand out, earlier tracks like 'Bursting Bowell Of Tellus', 'Fradga' and 'Abyssal Mouth' are tempered mid album by more atmospheric journeys like 'För Sorg' and 'Being' before being trampled to dust once more before the relentless procession of 'Vånda' into the aptly named 'Rampant'. The solemn Gregorian nature of the final track 'Dödgud' (Death God) serves as last rites to a opus of pulverizing magnitude. The visuals accompanying the film clip for third track 'Fradga' encapsulate the tone of the album as a whole. Drowned throats clogged with leaves, burning effigies, unrecognizable slabs of meat atop the altar. Flashing esoteric symbology assails the eye as unsettling sonic creations claw at the ear. The sharpening of a rusty blade, the distant scream of sacrifice. "Abyssal" revels in the rotten mire of nightmares, awaiting your misstep. 4 out of 5

Abyssal is out now on Unique Leader Records. For fans of Vildjharta, Black Tongue, Oceano, The Last Ten Seconds Of Life

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