Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Humanity Delete - Never Ending Nightmares

We all know and respect Rogga Johansson for his undying love of death metal and for all the effort he puts into his music. The guy has been in a million bands, he's an extremely talented musician and he really puts a lot of time into everything he does. The problem is that lots of time spent and effort extruded doesn't necessarily equate to a release nothing less than incredible. Humanity Delete is another one of Rogga's sound-a like projects with only subtle, practically invisible differences that just adds to the resume of one of the most prolific modern day death metal compatriots. For all I know, Rogga is an awesome dude but unfortunately with Humanity Delete's (or Rogga, Himself and Him - he plays every instrument except for a few solos) debut, Never Ending Nightmares, there is very little to really get enamored with, even if the whole album from birth to casket is produced and performed really well.

Short, spiffy songs that sound influenced by the swath of Swedish Death metal that exists in almost every way comprise a twelve track, twenty-nine minute jaunt through stereotypes such as d-beats, short blasting sections and tremolo riffs with weird and 'evil' melodic phrases caked on top. The best example of this album is if you broke up Unleashed's more recent albums into short songs, simplified everything down and lost whatever small sense of memorability existed to begin with. The riffs here are very standard and other than the intro to "Retribution of the Polong" or "The Eight Fire Narakas" which exhibits a pummeling pre-solo bridge, songs are mostly interchangeable.  What seems to be the albums version of a single, "Necromantic Sorcery," includes a verse riff which was probably dropped from being part of a far superior "Haunted" (off Grave's Into The Grave for anyone not following me here) but aside from the Grave worship on this track, the track is rekindled by a strong solo section and the obvious amounts of fun it would be to circle pit to the track.

To break down the release into specifics isn't warranted... you know what you're getting here if you're familiar with Paganizer or most of his other projects. Production on this is done tastefully, with a great vibrant and hot sound. Guitars are crusted over chunky blocks of riffing as would expected to come out of every guitar run through an HM2 pedal. No need to discuss the bass guitar as it never does anything of note across the album. The drums are produced at a high level of clarity and you can easily hear every single component though the floor tom is mixed way too high and each wallop elicits a massive overpowering boom that masks any other sound that tries to squeak through. Rogga's vocals are awesome though on this... deep, powerful, aggressive and mucus-filled rumbles which handle the Never Ending Nightmare's East Asian ghost and paranormal superstition focused lyrics (written by Jill Girardi of Dead Beat Media - the label that released the album) well.

Overall... listeners who really thrive on all things Swedish death metal wouldn't be disappointed with Humanity Delete's Never Ending Nightmares but more selective and critical listeners might find the whole thing just a tad too generic to warrant much attention. I mean, Rogga is so good at everything he does the fact that he just can't seem to come up with something to set his music apart from all the other stuff out there these days really is a shame. He deserves some sort of reward for all his hard work but that reward can't just be earned from album after album of stereotypical death metal with two or three above average tracks on it.

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