Friday, July 27, 2012

Relics of Humanity - Guided by the Soulless Call

This is not what I was expecting AT ALL. Relics of Humanity released Guided by the Soulless Call earlier this month under Amputated Vein Records, which is the label that introduced me to the underground brutal death world with bands such as Visceral Disgorge, Bloodboil, Disentomb, Severed Crotch, Slaughterbox, Eden Beast, and Awaiting the Autopsy. If you want the full story, read the countless other Amputated Vein reviews I’ve written over the past year or so. One thing that bothers me about the label is that their updates are very rare. They posted an update announcing the release of Slaughterbox’s debut (which I own and love) in November of last year. They didn’t make any update at all until February of THIS year announcing the new signing of Belarusian brutal death band Relics of Humanity. In fact, they’re SO bad at updating that they STILL haven’t even made a post announcing the album’s release! But that aside, I ordered a copy from the band at their Bigcartel store and finally got it in the mail.

Let’s talk about the general sound of the individual instruments because they actually make a large contribution to the overall sound of the record. The guitars are tuned EXTREMELY, and I mean EXTREMELY low and have an EXTREMELY deep, crunchy distortion that sends chills down the backs of the weak. The drums are more in the background, but not to the point where they’re being covered up by anything. In this record, the drummer took the buzz off his snare drum, which is (obviously) a very risky choice. Why is it risky? Because it can ruin the fucking music! But then again, if the volume, sound, and intensity of the snare are perfect, it can then act as a positive element that brings the music up. The vocals are what make the biggest contribution to this band’s sound, but I’ll talk about them later on.

The sound that Relics of Humanity plays is very similar to Devourment. And I don’t necessarily mean the speed and brutality part; I’m talking about the scary and atmospheric darkness that it creates. Think of the really creepy and dark sound that Devourment plays, take out the speed, and turn up the creepy darkness factor to the maximum. If you’re looking for SLAMMING brutality that sounds like it was just dragged out of the deepest pits of the underworld where people only rot in agony and depression; you NEED to get this record. Before the album’s release, Amputated Vein posted one of the tracks from the album as a teaser (the song being Pray for Obscurity). This was the song that made me say “FINALLY something DIFFERENT!”

I’m being honest here, as much as I LOVE extreme brutality; I’ve gotten a little tired of listening to new bands that have NOTHING but tasteless brutality. This was right about the time where I started my search for brutal artists that played something more than JUST brutality. So once I heard the song that was as thick as old molasses and creepy as FUCK, I decided that I’d order the album when it came out (since Amputated Vein doesn’t do pre-orders).

The flaws in this album are strongly overridden by the positives, which is kind of ironic because one of the flaws that this band has is not only one of my pet-peeves, it actually enhances the really mushy, atmospheric sound the band plays. It’s kind of hard to imagine just by reading text, but seriously! Listen to one of the songs off the record, and you will see that the drummer kind of has some minor tempo issues, but it just makes the music sound THAT scarier!! Another element that enhances the nightmare-inducing sound is the vocalist. Probably one of the DEEPEST and wettest inhales I’ve ever heard in my life with effects on it making it sound like you’re hearing it inside an underground cave. That’s how I would describe the vocals; and I fucking love it.

Relics of Humanity should be the new hot topic in the underground brutality world because of their uniqueness and desire to bring something new to the slaughter. With a sound that comes from the veins of Devourment, Shattered Eyes, Wormed, and Awaiting the Autopsy; I would give Guided by the Soulless Call 17/20 for being one of the better brutal death albums of 2012 (so far) along with At the Gate of Sethu, Anomalies of Artificial Origin, and Global Flatline.