Throughout their debut full-length, ‘Fractal’ (Abyss Records), Italian death metal quartet Humangled tap the lacerated vein of the greats of their genre. The record gives a thrashing, gore-splattered nod of allegiance to the heyday of death metal, raising horns in tribute to bands like Carcass, Morbid Angel and Death. The guys in Humangled would most likely throw a party if it were the early 1990’s all over again.
Songs like “From Empty Sockets”, “Brutalize The Pedophile” and “Liquidfire” remain consistent in their aggression and ferocity as gravel-throated growls alternate with shrieking screams in the vocal department. The instrumentation heard on ‘Fractal’ is largely in line with the style of the bands mentioned above, showing further that they are undoubtedly all huge sources of inspiration for Humangled. “Cognitive Montrozity” features an intro in the form of what sounds like an eerily frantic woman trying to leave someone a voicemail, informing them of her impending doom at the business end of a meat cleaver or chainsaw. “Under The Root” bears its own intro, in the form of an ominous voice warning the listener to faithfully follow instructions for something to be revealed to them, seconds before guitarist Luke Scurb’s riff work leads the way down another demented path, accompanied by the rhythm section of bassist Tato and drummer Raffaele Pezella to join forces with Andrew Goreds’ schizophrenic vocals, conjuring yet another hellishly brutal death metal atrocity.
Upon multiple listens, it seems the only real complaint from where this reviewer is standing, is toward the way a couple of the earlier tracks on ‘Fractal’ sometimes have a slightly muddy feel to the instrumental side of things, as the vocals are sometimes simultaneously overbearing in the mix. This causes a bit of a distraction to what would otherwise be a 100% vicious record.
When all is said and done, ‘Fractal’ is a straightforward death metal effort that could easily be the soundtrack for a chainsaw-wielding zombie butcher flick. Humangled is for fans of the glory days of gore lyrics, double bass, straight-out-of-Hell vocals and nausea-inducing speed in the guitar work. So, if that’s the kind of thing that gets your blood boiling (in a good way), give this one a spin!