"Humanomalies" is the new album of DEATH SS, even though IN DEATH OF STEVE SYLVESTER stands on the cover. Of course we know that this exactly is the meaning of the controversial name. To avoid any further problems they now use the long form. With this provocative name it is clear that not everybody will agree.
I am a fan of the Italian horror-combo that already had been founded back in 1977. Albums as "Black Mass" or "Heavy Demons" belong in every good Occult Metal-collection. But nowadays they do not have too much to do with the traditional doomy style of the old times anymore. Already "Do What Thou Wilt" had sounded very modern and Gothic-y. I do not know the follow-up, but "Humanomalies" shows DEATH SS even more modern.
Musically somewhere between MARILYN MANSON & ROB ZOMBIE with a shot of Gothic, you are shocked at first listen. But Steve Sylvester would not be himself, if he had not his very own flair. So we get great choruses, hooks and gripping, hypnotic rhythms en masse. Ok, the Metal-portion has been reduced in favour of a more electronic aspect, but they really have some smashers on board. The first song after the intro "Grand Guignol" grips your throat, shakes you a lot and then lets you fall down like a wet bag! On with the dark, effect-laden "Hell On Earth". After that a true electro-hit with "Pain". Should fill the dancefloors of all Gothic-clubs. A great song!
"The Sleep Of Reason" is a calm goosebump-track par excellence! Here we can hear that the voice of Mr Sylvester is very varied and shadows a Rob Zombie or even Manson. He uses all facets of his voice and so comes to the rescue of weaker songs. But there are not more than two fillers ("Sympathy For The Devil", "Circus Of Death"). No, rather more highlights like "Sinful Dove", "Feast Of Fools" and "Evil Freaks", where we finally get some fat guitars again.
Even though I had been unnerved and shocked at the beginning, I have to say that I like this album very much. A welcome contrast to the pure steel that I normally mostly consume. I am honest, because I normally do not like the "similar" acts like ROB ZOMBIE, NINE INCH NAILS or MARILYN MANSON, because they do not convey any feelings. With DEATH SS, though, we still get creative songs and a lot of atmosphere! (Online November 5, 2002)